Pursuit of haberdashery robbery suspects leads to crash on I-10, one man jumps to his death

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METAIRIE, LA -- Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joe Lopinto says that his deputies, working with federal and other local law enforcement agencies, identified one of two people who are believed to have carried out a robbery at Jeff's Haberdashery in Metairie this morning.

Lopinto says officers got a tip and tonight began to watch a house in Saint John the Baptist Parish, just outside of Laplace.  Lopinto says at one point, three men left the house and drove away in a black Infinity.

Lopinto says Saint John sheriff's deputies began to pursue the car and followed it onto Interstate-10.  On the interstate, the Infinity arrived at a location where an accident had occurred and traffic was moving slowly.

Lopinto says the Infinity crashed into the back of an 18 wheeler that had also slowed down.  At that point, according to the sheriff, the three people inside the car began to run from the scene on foot and jumped off of the elevated interstate to the ground below.

Lopinto says one of the men died from the fall and the other two were arrested.  Lopinto says one of the suspects who survived is believed to be one of the robbers who targeted the clothing store earlier in the day.  He did not say if the man who died or the other person arrested were believed to be involved in the robbery.

A little after 10:00 in the morning, Jeff's Haberdashery had just opened for business for the day.  Workers say they were helping a customer when two men came into the store, one of them carrying what appeared to be an assault-style rifle.

The two robbers forced the workers and customer to get on the ground as they removed merchandise from the store by the armful.  The crime only lasted a few moments, and the robbers got away with thousands of dollars in jeans, shirts, and other clothing.

Lopinto did not release any names of any suspects involved in the robbery or the chase.  He says he will meet with reporters in the morning and release more information in the investigation.