5 arrested in multi-parish theft, burglary ring

“We have a small amount of individuals that create havoc and can create havoc very quickly, that’s the case in this one,” said Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joe Lopinto.
Published: Jan. 21, 2022 at 4:31 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A multi-parish crime ring has been busted up, and authorities arrested five people ranging in age from 15 to 20.

The arrests were announced at a joint press conference held by the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, New Orleans Police Department, Louisiana State Police, Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office and Kenner Police on Friday.

Multiple vehicles, guns, credit cards, IDs, and drugs were recovered.

The crimes were burglaries, and they occurred in multiple locations across Jefferson Parish, Orleans Parish, and Plaquemines Parish.

“When we catch them, we’re gonna tie it all together,” said Jefferson Sheriff Joe Lopinto. “That’s exactly what happened here.”

Detectives heard Oakwood Center mall’s parking lot was being utilized to steal cars and noticed a car that had been reported stolen was in the lot on Wednesday. They conducted an investigation that resulted in the arrest of three adults and two juveniles.

The three adults arrested are Datayna Howard, 20, Mister Mackey, 20, and Teshonda Mercelin, 19. The two unidentified juveniles are 15 and 16-years-old.

Collectively, the five face 141 charges, ranging from theft to fraud using the credit cards they stole.

“We have a small amount of individuals that create havoc and can create havoc very quickly. That’s the case in this one,” Lopinto said.

“This may be perceived as only a property crime, but it can rapidly escalate to a violent crime, and we all know that all too well,” said NOPD Superintendent Shaun Ferguson.

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As detectives continue to unravel the web of crimes, Lopinto said they’re likely to connect more cases and bring more charges.

“As of today, JPSO investigators believe this group to be responsible for several dozen instances of car thefts, burglaries, and potentially more serious crimes which are being researched and investigated,” JPSO said in a press release.

Lopinto said he encourages the public to report all crimes. Crimes that go unreported are not responded to, and it was because some of these items were reported stolen that they were able to connect all the cases.

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