JPSO: 52 Metairie car burglaries supported couple's drug habit

JPSO: 52 Metairie car burglaries supported couple's drug habit

METAIRIE, LA (WVUE) - Two people have been arrested in connection with a series of car burglaries in the Metairie area, according to Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand.

Kody Hughes, 25, of Zenith Street, was booked with 52 counts of vehicle burglary along with several outstanding attachments and warrants for his arrest.  Hughes' girlfriend, Danielle Crowder, 26, also of Zenith Street, was booked on two outstanding traffic attachments as well as theft.

In October, the JPSO Burglary Section began investigating, conducting a canvass of the area and interviewing several victims and their neighbors where the incidents were occurring. They also collected video surveillance of a suspect. In the videos, the suspect would conceal his identity by hiding his face with a hoodie sweatshirt. He was also seen wearing gloves.

Several weeks later, beginning in mid-November and continuing through Nov. 26, an additional series of vehicle burglaries were reported in some of the same areas on the Eastbank.  Surveillance videos collected during this time period led investigators to believe that the suspect was one and the same.

During the crimes, 12 guns, cash, gift cards and jewelry were stolen from the vehicles.  Based on this information, investigators chose to conduct overnight surveillance in the areas in which the suspect was consistently committing the vehicle burglaries. On the morning of Nov. 25 around 3:49 a.m., a subject wearing similar clothing seen in the videos was seen running on W. Napoleon between two nearby townhomes. The suspect managed to escape. While tracing the suspect's movements, investigators found a flashlight they believed was dropped by the suspect. In the video surveillance, the suspect was seen using a similar flashlight. Crime Scene collected the flashlight for a DNA analysis which resulted in the DNA profile of Danielle Crowder, investigators said. Investigators learned that Danielle Crowder was in a relationship with an individual identified as Kody Hughes.  Research revealed Hughes to have a significant criminal history, with numerous arrests for vehicle burglary. It was also learned that both Hughes and Crowder had outstanding attachments for their arrests for miscellaneous traffic violations, shoplifting, child support, and vehicle hit and run.

On Nov. 26 while continuing their surveillance, Hughes and Crowder were seen walking in the 1800 block of Zenith Street.  Both were placed under arrest and taken into custody for questioning.  A search warrant was executed at their home on Zenith Street and resulted in the recovery of several items stolen in several of the burglaries.

During questioning, Crowder told investigators she and Hughes were heroin addicts and pain pill abusers. Hughes admitted to committing nearly all the vehicle burglaries investigators suspected him of.  Hughes told investigators he was alone when he committed the burglaries to support his and Crowder's drug addiction and to support their child.  Hughes identified himself as being the subject on the video recordings.  Hughes also admitted selling the firearms and property that he stole from the vehicles.

The couple remains jailed and there was no immediate word on bond.

Copyright 2016 WVUE. All rights reserved.