The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office said Thursday that four people have been arrested and one remains at large in connection with heroin dealing and a rash of burglaries, one of which may have been an October incident in Metairie that left New Orleans Saints assistant head coach Joe Vitt injured.
JPSO deputies moved in Wednesday night on two men leaving an apartment at 4829 Wabash St., in Metairie, after investigators linked one of them, Jacob Borel, to the break-ins.
Deputies followed Borel, 18, and Blake Bonnecarre, 22, as they left the apartment, then stopped them and found both armed with handguns. As the deputies were handcuffing them, Borel began punching one of the deputies in the face, the JPSO said in a news release. The officer arresting Bonnecarre came to the other deputy’s aid, and both suspects managed to flee on foot — Borel into his apartment and Bonnecarre down Wabash Street.
Borel ran through his apartment and jumped out a second-floor window and escaped; Bonnecarre was arrested after he was found hiding under a bush at Wabash and Lemon streets. The JPSO said Bonnecarre refused to come out from under the bush and had to be taken into custody with the help of a police dog. He was later treated at the hospital for dog bites.
Sheriff Newell Normand said Bonnecarre’s handgun, a .38-caliber revolver, was found near where he was arrested.
The deputies who chased Borel into his apartment found two other men, David Barthel, 19, and Mario Dominach, 19, there and arrested them.
They also found heroin and other drugs, drug paraphernalia and several iPads, laptops and other electronic equipment later found to have been stolen from St. Tammany Parish, as well as $14,000 in paintings stolen earlier this week in a burglary on Melody Drive in Metairie, the JPSO said.
After lifting a fingerprint from the apartment, deputies also arrested Christina Hebert, 25, while she was at work.
Normand said his office believes the group’s exploits may have included a burglary last month in which Vitt fell while chasing the perpetrators and tore his Achilles heel and broke his wrist.
Normand said he could not yet say why authorities believe the people arrested were linked to that incident.
He said the suspects are believed to be heroin addicts who may have been stealing to feed their habit.
Normand said the search for Borel is ongoing.
“We encourage Mr. Borel very strongly to turn himself in,” Normand said. “We’re going to get him, there’s no doubt about it, so he may as well turn himself in now.”
JPSO spokesman John Fortunato said Hebert, the woman arrested at work, told investigators that she would drive Borel around the Metairie Road area, sometimes dropping him off and waiting for him to return with stolen items. She also admitted to walking along neighborhood streets looking into car windows for potential items to steal, Fortunato said.
In the Vitt incident, the Saints coach said he went outside at 3:50 a.m. Oct. 17 to find a woman about to enter his neighbor’s unlocked car and a man inside his own car.
Vitt described the woman to police as a blonde, while Hebert has dark hair in her mug shot.
Follow Chad Calder on Twitter, @Chad_Calder.