St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested two Slidell men in stealing 19 cases of commercial-grade fireworks.
Sometime between Dec. 23 and Dec. 29, about 294 fireworks shells and fuses were taken from the rear of a locked box truck, which was parked within gated property off Browns Village Road.
The value of the stolen fireworks was between $8,000 and $10,000. They were intended to be used at a New Year’s Eve show in Bossier City.
After local media ran stories about the theft, two individuals came forward Tuesday, saying they thought they had purchased some of the stolen explosives from a man named Marcus Stewart.
Deputies located and arrested Stewart, 22, early Wednesday.
When asked about the fireworks, Stewart said that after stealing them, he had sold some and had ignited some of the fireworks himself, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Stewart also implicated an acquaintance, Donald Armlin Jr., in the burglary.
Detectives located Armlin, 30, who allegedly confessed to his involvement by acting as a lookout, assisting in unloading stolen fireworks cases from the storage container, keeping the stolen fireworks after the burglary and disposing of evidence by igniting the fireworks.
Stewart was booked on counts of simple burglary, illegal possession of stolen things and obstruction of justice.
Armlin was booked on simple burglary and obstruction of justice.
The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are possible, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Although some of the fireworks have been recovered and returned to the owner, officials believe that some may still be in the hands of individuals in the community, posing a danger to them and others.
Anyone who purchased stolen fireworks from Stewart or who otherwise knows where some of the stolen fireworks may be located is asked to call Lt. Mike Dauth at (985) 726-7823.
Suspect sought in French Quarter robbery
New Orleans police are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying and locating a man wanted in connection with an armed robbery that occurred Monday in the 500 block of Toulouse Street.
A 35-year-old man was sitting in the block about 6:45 p.m. when he was approached by a man on a BMX-style bicycle. The man demanded money and implied he had a weapon. When the victim complied, the robber pedaled away down Toulouse toward Decatur Street.
The robber was described as a Latino male in his late 20s, about 5-foot-8 and 175 pounds, with closely cropped short hair. He was wearing a black jacket with red on the back, jeans and a green canvas backpack.
Police released a computer sketch of the man.
Anyone with information is asked to call the 8th District Investigative Unit at (504) 658-6080 or Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.
Coroner IDs victim of Kerlerec Street shooting
Orleans Parish Coroner Jeffrey Rouse identified a man shot to death Monday night in the 1400 block of Kerlerec Street as Brandon Shelbia, 23.
Police found his body on the sidewalk about 11 p.m.
Homicide detective Clifton Givens is in charge of the investigation and can be contacted at (504) 658-5300, or anyone with information about this crime may call Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.
NOPD reports five armed robberies
New Orleans police reported several armed robberies Tuesday and Wednesday.
About 7 a.m. Tuesday, a 28-year-old man was walking in the 1500 block of Second Street when he was knocked to the ground from behind. One robber held him on the ground while a second searched his pockets. They took the victim’s wallet, cellphone and about $40 and fled on foot.
About 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, a 25-year-old man was approached at Pauger and North Villere streets by three armed men who demanded his money.
They fired two shots, striking the victim, stole his wallet and fled.
About 8:20 p.m. Tuesday, a man and his wife, both 35, were approached at Frenchmen and North Rampart streets by two men. Police said one of the pair pointed “an implied weapon” at the victims and demanded the husband’s wallet. The husband complied.
About 1:15 a.m. Wednesday, a 29-year-old man was walking in the 100 block of South Robertson Street when he was approached by a man who produced a handgun and ordered the victim to walk a few blocks away.
The robber then ordered the victim to take his money out of his pocket and put it on the ground and run. Police said the robber later was apprehended and identified as Jason Wiley, 27.
About 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, a man in his 60s was walking at Hayne and Crowder boulevards when he was approached by two men. One produced a weapon and the other knocked the victim to the ground. They fled after taking the victim’s money from his wallet.
Lower 9th Ward home invaded Tuesday
New Orleans police reported an aggravated burglary late Tuesday night in the Lower 9th Ward.
A 71-year-old man said he was inside his residence in the 1000 block of Delery Street when he heard his dog barking at the back door. The man went to see what the dog was barking at and saw a male wearing a hoodie at his back door.
The victim went to call the police but the burglar approached him and said, “Hang up the phone and give me your money.” The victim complied, and the burglar fled out of a back window.