WASHINGTON PARISH, LA (WVUE) - Two men are under arrest, accused of setting fire to a Porche in a scheme to defraud an insurance company, according to the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office.
On Sept. 19, the Sheriff's Office responded to a vehicle fire off of Westmoreland Road, where an officer located the remains of a burned Porsche on a remote hunting road. The vehicle had been placed on concrete blocks and the wheels had been removed. In addition to the burned vehicle's license plate, which was still readable, the officer also discovered a pair of pliers which had a last name written on one of the handles.
Arrested were Gary Joseph LeBlanc, 49, a resident of Robert, LA, and Wesley Herndon, 28, a resident of Pearl River County, MS. A third person, Neil Kelly of Folsom, LA, is being sought for his alleged involvement.
According to the Sheriff's Office, the crime began when Gary Joseph LeBlanc, the owner of the 2006 Porsche, approached two of his employees and offered to pay them if they would take his car so it would appear to have been stolen and then burn the vehicle so that he could collect full value from his insurance company. Police said LeBlanc was frustrated because the Porsche had water damage and he was unable to sell it for its assessed worth.
Through interviews and social media, an investigator found that Herndon was advertising the Porsche tires and rims for sale on Facebook. That discovery led to the identification of LeBlanc.
Herndon was taken to the Washington Parish Jail on Oct. 26 and released the same day after posting a $5,000 bond. He faces a charge of simple arson.
LeBlanc was arrested on Nov. 8 and released the same day after posting a $10,000 bond. He is booked with arson with intent to defraud.