VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A Suffolk man pleaded guilty to robbery charges and was sentenced to 15 years behind bars Monday.
29-year-old Latabus Lemont Mann pleaded guilty to three counts of robbery and use of a firearm in commission of a felony and one count of attempted robbery.
Prosecutors say that between December 2015 and January 2016, Mann robbed four people as they tried to use ATMs at Virginia Beach banks. In each incident, Mann wore a mask and either showed a handgun or implied that he had one.
On December 24, 2015, a woman was in her car in the parking lot of the Navy Federal Credit Union on Salem Road. She was about to make a deposit and had cash in her lap. Mann approached her car and began to open her passenger door, but the woman screamed and drove off. A witness saw Mann walk through a nearby neighborhood and get into a pick-up truck. The witness gave a suspect description to police.
Five days later, Mann robbed a woman trying to withdraw money at the same bank. He made off with $200.
On January 5, Mann again robbed a woman who was depositing money at the Navy Federal on Salem Road. The woman’s granddaughter was nearby and yelled at Mann. He got away with $25.
An officer in the area heard the robbery report on police radio. He saw a truck being driven by someone who fit Mann’s description. The truck matched the description provided by the witness in the December 24 robbery. The officer got a license plate number, but wasn’t able to investigate further because he was dispatched to another call.
On January 10, Mann robbed a man who was withdrawing money from the ATM at the Wells Fargo on Kempsville Road. He stole $240. A witness followed Mann as he ran through a shopping center, got into a truck and drove off. The witness gave police a partial license plate number, which was part of the same plate number the officer saw after the January 5 robbery.
Once police determined the truck was driven in multiple robberies, an officer drove nearby where the robberies happened looking for the vehicle. He found the truck in the parking lot of a Days Inn hotel in Norfolk near the Virginia Beach city line. Mann was a registered guest at the hotel and his truck was registered to his room. A short time later, police saw Mann leave his room and start to get in his truck. He was arrested and officers found a handgun in his pocket.
In his truck, police found masks that matched descriptions provided by the victims. Mann confessed to the robberies when interviewed by detectives. He had no previous criminal record.