NOPD says report of gang rape unfounded

New Orleans police said a report Sunday that a woman was raped by three men in Bywater was discovered to be unfounded.

A 37-year-old woman told police that she was raped about 2:30 a.m. Sunday in the 4500 block of North Rampart Street.

Police have not said what led them to determine the report was untrue.

Coroner identifies N.O. East homicide victims

The Orleans Parish coroner has identified two women gunned down early Saturday in New Orleans East.

Gerhonda M. Elphage, 25, and Irielle T. King, 18, were shot about 12:05 a.m. in the 14000 block of Chef Menteur Highway, Coroner Jeff Rouse said.

Both women died on the scene. Police have not identified a suspect or motive in the case.

Man shot during home invasion identified

A man fatally shot as he tried to rob an Algiers family during a home invasion has been identified as 25-year-old Keith Jay Jones.

Jones wandered into the backyard of a home in the 1800 block of West Homestead Drive about 10 p.m. Wednesday and forced a husband and wife, who were sitting on their patio, inside at gunpoint.

Once inside, the husband was able to get his own gun and shoot Jones, who died on the scene.

Police made no arrest in the case, which is being reviewed by the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office.

Man steals diaper bag to pay probation fees

Terry Jones, of Slidell, hasn’t led a pampered life. But when he needed some change to pay his probation fees for a drug arrest, all he got was Huggies, police said.

Jones robbed a woman at gunpoint Monday morning outside the Forestwood Apartments on Mary Street in Slidell, just a block from the city’s police station, Slidell Police Department spokesman Daniel Seuzeneau said.

The victim was holding her infant child when Jones approached, put his gun in her chest and demanded her purse, Seuzeneau said. But the “purse” was actually a diaper bag, and once Jones realized there was nothing of value in it, he fled.

He was arrested later when he ran in front of a police officer who had responded to the report, Seuzeneau said.

Police booked him on a count of armed robbery. He will be transferred to the St. Tammany Parish Jail, where a bail will be set.

BR contractor booked in theft in Plaquemines

A Baton Rouge contractor wanted on theft charges in Plaquemines Parish has surrendered to authorities.

Brent Couvillion was arrested Monday at the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office and booked on an outstanding warrant for a felony charge of misapplication of payments by a contractor.

On Feb. 26, the alleged victim and Couvillion, who is the owner of Baton Rouge-based Prime Construction Services LLC, entered into a contract while in Belle Chasse to build a $545,000 building in Geismar.

Between February and April, the victim paid Couvillion $134,000 for costs associated with the construction project, but the only work Couvillion performed was pouring the foundation for a storage pad.

Investigators said Couvillion misapplied the funds to an unrelated construction project and did not purchase any materials for the victim’s project.

His bail was set at $135,000.

Gretna men booked in Chalmette robbery

Two Gretna men were caught within minutes of allegedly trying to rob a Chalmette Walgreens early Monday, the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office said.

Deputies responded about 4:30 a.m. to the store at Judge Perez Drive and Paris Road after reports of a robbery in progress.

Leonard Gibson, 43, who has served time for a burglary conviction in Texas, and Ben Amos, 27, were arrested as they tried to herd a customer and two employees into a back room, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

Investigators believe at least one more person was involved in the robbery attempt. The men appeared to have been dropped off from a vehicle seen on a store surveillance system.

Gibson and Amos were booked with armed robbery and aggravated kidnapping.

No bail had been set for either man Monday afternoon.

Lint in air vent sparks fire alarm at prison

The evacuation Sunday of the Orleans Parish Prison’s Conchetta facility came after a deputy noticed “an odor that he associated with an electrical issue,” which may have been caused by the buildup of lint inside a return air vent, a Sheriff’s Office spokesman said Monday.

The spokesman, Philip Stelly, said there was no smoke or fire in the air when the deputy first noticed the odor, and the evacuation was ordered “in an abundance of caution.”

The inmates had been moved to the yard by 2:45 p.m. “A few minutes later,” Stelly said, “the fire alarm went off as smoke became visible on the tier.”

Using a thermal camera, firefighters identified a warm area inside a return air vent that had a large buildup of lint.

“Another contributing factor could be frayed insulation somewhere in the HVAC system,” Stelly added. “That is consistent with the electrical odor the deputy first noticed. It is not uncommon for HVAC systems to have these issues, especially on extremely hot days like it was on Sunday.”

NOPD tries to identify fare who stole taxicab

New Orleans police are asking for the public’s help in identifying a man who is wanted for stealing a taxicab in which he was riding.

The cab was stolen about 4:40 a.m. Aug. 10 in the 8700 block of Chef Menteur Highway.

When the driver pulled over and got out of the vehicle for a moment, the passenger quickly moved to the front seat and drove away, police said.

The 7th District Property Crimes Unit is in charge of the investigation and can be contacted at (504) 658-6070.