'Uber driver' arrested in connection with convenience store robberies

'Uber driver' arrested in connection with convenience store robberies

METAIRIE, LA (WVUE) - Jefferson Parish deputies have arrested a man listed as an Uber driver in connection with the robbery of two convenience stores.

Sheriff Newell Normand said that James K. Ziegler, 45, was arrested on two counts of simple robbery. According to investigators, Ziegler robbed the Brother's Food Mart in the 6600 block of Veterans Boulevard in Metairie on Jan. 5 shortly after 5 a.m. They said he grabbed money out of the cash register after he brought items to the counter to buy, and then took off in a silver car.

Detectives said surveillance video and other evidence helped them link Ziegler to another robbery in New Orleans the same morning at the Exxon Circle K at 704 Howard Avenue.

Investigators were able to use traffic cameras to get a license plate of the car Ziegler was driving, which helped them identify Ziegler as a suspect.

Deputies said the 2017 Toyota Corolla he was driving was registered to Enterprise Rent-A-Car and was leased to Ziegler. Ziegler was also listed an Uber  driver with Enterprise.

"There was an Uber sticker on the car so he professes and claims that he was in Uber driver.  But we have not been able to validate that with Uber as of yet whether or not he was in fact an Uber driver" said Sheriff Newell Normand.

Investigators say Ziegler confessed to the two robberies as well as a third one a day earlier at the Discount Stop located at 1002 North Arnoult Road in Metairie.

They say Ziegler told them that he has an addiction to crack cocaine and needed the money to support his habit.

Ziegler has an arrest history for armed robbery, first-degree robbery, simple robbery, purse snatching, simple burglary, aggravated criminal damage, theft and DUI. He was convicted of first degree robbery, purse snatching, simple robbery and simple burglary and was released from the Louisiana Department of Corrections on Nov. 3, 2016.

He faces two counts of simple robbery for the Jefferson Parish cases.

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