EBR police and fire briefs for Aug. 22, 2014 _lowres

The East Baton Rouge Parish School Board office.

Former Cancer Center official wanted in theft

Police are searching for the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center’s former director of facilities, who is accused of having spent more than $16,000 of the center’s money with two company credit cards for his own purchases.

Officials at the center did not notice the missing money — $16,201.53 — until shortly after Larry Butler, 49, told the center’s human resources department on Aug. 11 that he was quitting for another job, said Cpl. Don Coppola, a Baton Rouge Police spokesman. Butler admitted to an employee in an email that he spent the money for his own use, police say.

Butler, 15 Grand Cypress Court, New Orleans, is wanted on felony theft counts, Coppola said. Anyone who has information about Butler’s whereabouts can contact the Police Department’s Financial Crimes Division at (225) 389-3871 or Crime Stoppers at (25) 344-7867.

Fire causes heavy damage to BR home

A home’s kitchen was engulfed in flames after a stove fire on Wednesday night that caused an estimated $13,000 in damage, the Baton Rouge Fire Department said.

Firefighters saw heavy smoke pouring out of a home’s front window as they arrived at 2417 Ralph St., said Mark Miles, a Fire Department spokesman. The fire was contained to the kitchen, though fire spread briefly to the attic above. The rest of the home was damaged by the smoke, Miles said.

The home’s estimated value is $40,000.

Authorities book five on suspicion of DWI

Authorities arrested at least five people suspected of driving while intoxicated in East Baton Rouge Parish and booked them into Parish Prison between 2:30 p.m. Tuesday and 2:30 p.m. Thursday, booking records show.

Those booked and the counts against them:

Timothy Fontenot, 53, 10048 Lexington Drive, Denham Springs, second-offense DWI, reckless operation of a vehicle, improper lane use and improper passing.

Zachary Hebert, 20, 5408 La. 31, Opelousas, underage DWI and improper lane use.

Jordan Hughes, 34, 4704 Luke Powers Road, Lake Charles, second-offense DWI, reckless operation of a vehicle and improper lane use.

Johnathon Nalbone, 31, 2262 Elvin Drive, Baton Rouge, second-offense DWI, motor vehicle insurance required or expired, possession of alcohol in vehicle, reckless operation of vehicle, operating a vehicle while under suspension for a prior offense and expired motor vehicle inspection.

Willie Posey, 39, 1743 N. 27th St., Baton Rouge, first-offense DWI, failure to signal and driver’s license suspended or revoked.

Natural gas leak closes BR shopping area

Entergy shut off power to a Siegen Lane shopping area for a few hours on Thursday night after natural gas was found leaking from beneath a parking lot slab, the St. George Fire Department announced.

St. George firefighters responded to reports of a natural gas odor at the Winn-Dixie on Siegen Lane near Perkins Road just before 7 p.m., and discovered gas leaking from a pipeline after a construction contractor pierced it accidentally, said Eldon Ledoux, a St. George Fire Department spokesman.

The leak was shut off just after 9 p.m., but a strong natural gas odor was still in the area on Thursday night, Ledoux said. Power was restored at 9:20 p.m.

Compiled from staff reports. To talk to a crime reporter at The Advocate, call (225) 388-0369.