A routine domestic disturbance call turned into a wide-ranging vehicle burglary investigation in St. Tammany Parish.
A deputy was called to a home on Maplewood Street near Slidell to intervene in a couple's argument about lost or stolen keys.
The woman told the deputy her boyfriend, who had been staying at the house for a couple of weeks, had put guns under the bedroom mattress. She was concerned about the guns and wanted them taken away because of young children in the house. She also alerted the deputy to drug paraphernalia she'd found and indicated she wanted the boyfriend removed.
As the deputy investigated, he discovered two of the three weapons had been stolen. He also recovered gift cards, multiple driver's licenses in various names and Sam's' cards that belonged to other people.
Investigators took Edward Bell of New Orleans on multiple counts including possession of a stolen firearm and drug paraphernalia.
As they dug deeper into the recovered items, deputies say they tied Bell to a January vehicle burglary and added charges of vehicle burglary, identity theft, bank fraud and possession of stolen things.
St. Tammany detectives believe Bell may be tied to other vehicle burglaries in the area.
"There is no way to know how many crimes this deputy may have prevented by taking the initiative to secure these firearms and run them through our system, ultimately determining two of them were stolen," Sheriff Randy Smith said.