Posts tagged ‘moss bluff’

Two accused in area smash-and-grab burglaries

*published Apr 29, 2010


Calcasieu Parish authorities have arrested one man and are looking for another they say committed up to 11 smash-and-grab burglaries throughout the parish.

David St. Germain, 45, of Sulphur, was charged with four counts each of burglary, theft and property damage and one count of possession of stolen property.

Sheriff’s Office officials said St. Germain’s DNA was found at the scenes of three of the burglaries and that he took part in the burglary of a residence in Sulphur.

The break-ins reportedly took place between Dec. 24 and Feb. 6. Investigators believe the crimes stopped when the men were both arrested for other offenses.

St. Germain is in jail in West Feliciana Parish for another smash-and-grab burglary and will be brought to Calcasieu Parish after completing his sentence, said Sheriff Tony Mancuso.

He said St. Germain has more than 30 arrests and has been incarcerated 27 times for drug, burglary and theft charges.

Detectives are also looking for 36-year-old Charles Matthew Garrett, a native of Jackson, Tenn., who lived in Sulphur during the time of the burglaries.

He is described as a 6-foot-4, 225-pound white male, and he goes by the nickname “Tennessee.” He may have fled back to his home state, authorities said.

At a Feb. 5 news conference, Mancuso said the men stole trucks and used them to commit burglaries.

“During this time, business owners were saying they were staying at their stores to guard,” Mancuso said. “Our concern was someone was going to get hurt, so we’re pleased to bring this to an end.”

Two stores in Sulphur and Carlyss were burglarized twice.


The men reportedly rammed the front doors with a truck or broke them open with a sledgehammer.

Detectives believe the men, who caused $500,000 in damage, purposely targeted stores in rural areas.

Mancuso said detectives used mathematical formulas and incident details to develop a pattern and set up surveillance.

“We believe this led to deputies spotting them leaving a burglary in Sulphur,” he said. A chase took place, but the men escaped, Mancuso said.

“As sheriff I’ll try anything and I’ll admit I was a little skeptical when we started, but (this crime analysis method) is a tool that has been proven now. We’ll definitely continue to use it.”

If you have any information on these crimes, call Crime Stoppers at 439-2222.


April 29, 2010 at 7:33 pm

Smash and grab

Two men wanted in nine Calcasieu burglaries

The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office is seeking information on two men they believe have committed nine smash-and-grab burglaries at convenience stores.

Since Dec. 24, someone broke into the stores — all in rural areas — by either ramming the front door with a truck or breaking it open with a sledgehammer, said Sheriff Tony Mancuso.

He said all of the trucks used were stolen, usually at night, with the owners not discovering and reporting the thefts until the morning.

“We believe it’s two people, stealing the whole register or safe and sometimes cartons of cigarettes and store goods,” Mancuso said.

He said the suspects may be two white males in their mid-20s, but that in all of the incidents the men wore hoods or bandanas to cover their faces.

“They are hitting these places pretty quickly and sometimes moving to another store to hit,” Mancuso said.

According to Sheriff’s Office records, three stores in the Moss Bluff and Westlake areas were broken into a one-hour period on Jan. 26.

On Feb. 3 and 4, two stores in the Carlyss and Sulphur areas were hit in a two-hour period.

“We think they are purposely hitting stores in rural areas like Carlyss, LeBleu Settlement, and the areas between Moss Bluff and Westlake because they are low-traffic areas at that hour,” Mancuso said.

He said five trucks have been stolen — some personal trucks, others company or utility trucks.

“Along with the items they are taking, these suspects have caused about $500,000 worth of damage to these stores,” Mancuso said.

In some surveillance footage, the suspects drive the truck into the store and ram the checkout counter multiple times, probably to dislodge a safe, detective said.

“If you have heard anyone bragging about doing this or seen a person having extra items for no reason, please let us know,” Mancuso said.

Anyone with information can call the Sheriff’s Office at 491-3605 or Crime Stoppers at 439-2222.


February 5, 2010 at 4:13 pm Leave a comment

Time of essence in case

*published Dec. 1, 2009

Immigration issue clouds outlook in slaying of teen
Setbacks at every step have slowed the investigation into the death of Moss Bluff woman Sierra Bouzigard, Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso said Monday.

“It took us 12 hours to identify the body,” he said. “That was 12 hours where we didn’t have a direction to go, didn’t know who to speak to first.”

The body of Bouzigard, 19, was found at 7:40 a.m. Nov. 23 on the side of John Koonce Road in Moss Bluff. Parish Coroner Dr. Terry Welke has ruled that she died of blunt force trauma to the head.

Since last Monday, Mancuso said detectives have talked to 22 people who may have known or had contact with Bouzigard.

“It appears she made several visits to different people in the Moss Bluff area on Sunday,” Mancuso said.

He said much of the case hinges on crime lab results and phone records from several of the people investigators have interviewed.

“The phone companies have told us that they can get us the records within 14 days,” Mancuso said. “We want the records to corroborate some stories and hopefully figure out where she was last.”

He would not discuss the possibility that another area had been checked for evidence.

“Because we’re dealing with the real world, we need people to understand that it will take time to get results back from our crime lab,” Mancuso said.

On average, results can take from two weeks to 30 days to process because of certain procedures and the requirement that the results be verified by multiple forensic specialists.

Of the people interviewed in the case, 16 were illegal immigrants.

Calcasieu Correctional Center book-in records show they were arrested on Nov. 25 and lived in two apartments on Sistrick Road, off Sam Houston Jones Parkway.

Detectives said two Sheriff’s Office interpreters worked around the clock, with a federal interpreter, to handle the interviews.

Because detectives had filed no local charges, the immigrants were turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and are now at a federal detention center in Basile.

They are charged with entry without inspection — a federal misdemeanor.

Mancuso said their immigration status is an issue because the Sheriff’s Office does not have jurisdiction over illegal immigrants.

Deportation proceedings have begun, and processing will reportedly take about a month.

“I can’t promise we will have enough by then,” Mancuso said.

If one of the deported immigrants becomes a suspect, Mancuso said his department would have to issue an arrest warrant.

“It is a problems for us,” he said. “He would have to be located there, and then we would need that country’s government to cooperate.”

He noted that a rape-homicide case remains open because of a similar situation.

On Feb. 19, 2008, the body of Wanda Barton, 26, was found in her mobile home.

Deputies listed 20-year-old Jose Manuel Garcia Guevara as a person of interest and said they believed he fled to Dallas and then back to his hometown of Rioverde, San Luis Potosi, Mexico.

In April 2008, a grand jury indicted Garcia Guevara on charges of second-degree murder, aggravated rape and aggravated burglary. He is still at large.

Mancuso would not say how Bouzigard was connected with any of the people detectives interviewed.

He said there are no suspects at this time, only persons of interest, and that no charges have been filed in the case.

“We still have a long ways to go in this investigation,” Mancuso said.


December 1, 2009 at 6:11 pm Leave a comment

Deputy arrested on sex charges

*published Nov. 4, 2009

A Calcasieu Parish deputy was fired Tuesday night after his arrest on rape and other sex charges, authorities said.

A woman reportedly contacted the Calcasieu Sheriff’s Office on Oct. 30 and said her juvenile daughter was having sex with David N. Thomas, 40, of 927 Cascio Road in Moss Bluff.

Sheriff Tony Mancuso requested assistance from state police, citing a conflict of interest, according to a statement released by the Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff’s officials are conducting an independent internal investigation, and Trooper Stephen LaFargue said state police will handle the criminal investigation.

Among the charges Thomas faces are sexual battery and forcible rape.

Information on his career with the Sheriff’s Office — reportedly 19 years — was not available late Tuesday.


November 4, 2009 at 10:23 am Leave a comment

Deputies search for suspect in robbery and truck thefts

*published Oct. 15, 2009

Calcasieu deputies are searching for a man they say robbed a store and stole three trucks over a one-week period.

The suspect is described as a 6-foot-tall white male. He was last seen wearing black wind pants, white tennis shoes, a camouflage face mask, and a purple pullover with one gold sleeve and one black sleeve.

On Oct. 8, a 1999 two-toned Chevrolet Z71 truck was stolen from a house on La. 14 in Holmwood, authorities said.

At 4 a.m. Oct. 13, a person driving the vehicle reportedly broke into a convenience store on La. 3059 in LeBleu Settlement.

Just before midnight that same day, a patrol deputy spotted the vehicle on U.S. 171, just north of the Calcasieu River bridge in Moss Bluff, authorities said.

The man reportedly tried to flee, but got the truck trapped in a muddy vacant lot near the corner of Cob Circle and U.S. 171.

Authorities said he ran into the woods and that dogs were unable to find him.

Deputies said they later received a report that a 2007 Nissan Titan had been stolen from a house on Arrowhead Drive, about two miles south of Cob Circle.

Authorities believe the man is still driving that truck. The license plate is X126199.

Anyone with information can call 337-491-1352. The lead investigator is detective Stanford Mott.


October 15, 2009 at 7:25 pm Leave a comment

CPSO: DNA links Sulphur man to Moss Bluff burglary

*published Aug. 19, 2009
Authorities believe blood at scene result of cut suffered by intruder.

The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office says another old case has been solved through DNA testing by the recently certified Southwest Louisiana Crime Lab.

Last week, Catlin C. Richard, 21, of Sulphur, was arrested for a June 2005 burglary in Moss Bluff. He was charged with burglary, theft and criminal property damage.

Judge Kent Savoie set his bond at $51,000.

Officials in 2005 collected samples of blood from several rooms in the burglarized house and determined the burglar had cut himself when he broke a window to get inside, authorities said.

Sheriff Tony Mancuso said last week that state and FBI crime labs give priority to violent crime cases, leaving samples from other cases to languish on long waiting lists.

The area lab was certified to be a part of the Combined DNA Index System, or CODIS, two months ago.

On July 31, the 2005 samples were matched to Richard, and he was charged Aug. 13. At the time, he was being held in the Calcasieu Correctional Center on other charges.

The Southwest Louisiana Crime Lab reportedly has 50 to 60 backlogged crime scene samples to input and analyze.

When a sample is matched to a person in the database, it has to be rerun within 30 days by another analyst to confirm the match, said Cmdr. Matt Viator.

Viator said that before the area lab was nationally certified, officers here had to contract with other CODIS-certified labs if they needed a national search.

Samples that are backlogged in state and federal labs can be recalled by local law enforcement agencies to be submitted to the area lab.

CODIS is funded by the FBI and was created as a searchable national database for local DNA labs.

In addition to this latest case, CODIS hits have led to arrests for 13 other crimes: two burglaries and four rapes for the Calcasieu Sheriff’s Office; one rape and five burglaries for Lake Charles police; and one burglary for the Cameron Parish Sheriff’s Office.

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August 19, 2009 at 7:53 pm Leave a comment

Suspect in shooting pastor at local church

*published June 24, 2009


Barry Weldon Thomas is taken into custody following Monday’s shooting in Moss Bluff.  BY VANESSA C. DEGGINS

Barry Weldon Thomas is taken into custody following Monday’s shooting in Moss Bluff. BY VANESSA C. DEGGINS

A Lake Charles man arrested in connection with a Monday shooting has a lengthy criminal history and is a pastor at a local church, authorities said.

Barry Weldon Thomas, 49, was charged with two counts of illegal use of a weapon and one count of illegal carrying of a weapon. He was released Monday evening on $10,500 bond, according to parish jail records.

Authorities said Thomas is the pastor at Shiloh Baptist Church on Fifth Avenue. According to clerk of court records — where at least one entry includes the abbreviation “Rev.” — his criminal history dates from 1996 and includes charges of animal cruelty, theft over $500 and drug possession.

At about 1 p.m. Monday, deputies responded to a shooting at 470 W. Telephone Road in Moss Bluff, authorities said. There they reportedly found Thomas lying on the ground in the front yard with a semiautomatic pistol pointed toward the mobile home.

Thomas was arrested, and two victims — Craig Thomas and Albert Sweet — were taken to Lake Charles Memorial Hospital to be treated for injuries to the neck, chest and leg, authorities said.

“The two victims are still in the hospital, but detectives don’t think their injuries are life-threatening,” said Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Kim Myers.

Sheriff Tony Mancuso said detectives spent the rest of the day interviewing witnesses.

“We determined that there were eight people in the house, including Thomas,” Mancuso said. “We talked to all but one person, and they, including Thomas, admitted they had been smoking crack cocaine.”

He said detectives are not sure what set Thomas off, but that he fired 14 shots inside the home.

“In his and witnesses’ statements, he was described as acting very irrational and erratic,” Mancuso said.

He said none of the eight people lived in the mobile home, which is owned by Floyd Sweet, whom Mancuso said was working out of town.

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June 24, 2009 at 3:51 am Leave a comment