Two sought after car stolen with 6-year-old girl in backseat in St. Bernard Parish

Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 9:21 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 25, 2023 at 4:21 PM CST
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CHALMETTE, La. (WVUE) - Deputies in St. Bernard Parish are searching for two men who they say stole a car with a 6-year-old girl in the backseat.

A stolen car was pursued across St. Bernard Parish and into New Orleans East, before the child was safely recovered from a different stolen vehicle, authorities said Tuesday night (Jan. 24).

The St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office said two suspects in a silver 2019 Kia SUV attempted a carjacking outside the parish’s school board shortly before 7 p.m. The suspects failed in that attempt when the targeted victims fled, deputies said.

“We parked right on the side of the building and right as my wife and I got to the car, we noticed another car hovering nearby,” Barry Lemoine said.

Lemoine says he had an eerie feeling that something was wrong.

“I turned to [my wife] and said ‘something feels off,’ and as soon as I said that, they exited the vehicle with guns and I just punched it,” Lemoine recalled. He says he took off and called 911.

Minutes later, the same suspects managed to steal a black 2019 Acura sedan from outside a nearby convenience store on Paris Road in Chalmette. Surveillance video shows them pulling into Meraux Food Store.

The 6-year-old was left inside of the vehicle while the parents went into the store.

Within seconds one of the men jumped into the running vehicle and took off.

Authorities spotted the stolen car, presumed to still have the child inside, and pursued it into New Orleans East, where they said the two suspects bailed out of the vehicle and escaped on foot. Meanwhile, the Kia SUV they had been using -- which itself was reported as stolen out of New Orleans -- was found abandoned near Delille and West Moreau streets in Chalmette. The child was recovered unharmed from inside that vehicle.

Chief Chad Clark says the sheriff’s office is dealing with an uptick in criminal activity originating in New Orleans.

“If they come to St. Bernard, you will be caught,” Chief Clark said. “We are not going to stop here. We have detectives in New Orleans East right now working with New Orleans detectives and the FBI that will find these two suspects.

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