Armed robbery suspect arrested 5 days after being released from jail

Habitual offender released early due to the Justice Reinvestment Act arrested for armed robbery
Published: Nov. 9, 2017 at 10:20 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 10, 2017 at 1:42 PM CST
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KENNER, LA (WVUE) - "It's frustrating that the cycle begins all over again. I mean the guy is 24 years old and his criminal history is 40 pages long," says Chief Michael Glaser.

Kenner police say Tyronne "Smokey" White had been in jail since 2014 serving a 12-year sentence for simple burglary when he was granted an early release through the Louisiana Justice Reinvestment Act. They say White was released from jail on Nov. 2, and just a few days later, he was spotted in the 600 block of 27th Street.

"He was going around lifting car door handles to see what was locked or unlocked, and the following morning, he was on the side of the building and he crossed the street and saw a Spanish guy getting off the ladder and he held them at gunpoint," says a neighbor.

Police say two roofers had pulled up to a house and started to work. One victim was on the roof and the other walked up to a ladder when police say White pointed a gun at him and demanded his money. They say White then forced the second victim down from the roof, but that worker didn't have money on him.

"He just took off after that. We don't know how long he's been doing this. It's just two days ago and we saw him in the same area," says a neighbor.

"He lives in the neighborhood, and he's well known to Kenner police," says Chief Michael Glaser.

Glaser said White is a habitual offender with a long criminal history.

"We've arrested him for 64 counts of simple burglary in the past. He's had illegal possession of weapons, narcotics charges, resisting an officer. He pleaded guilty several different times, all to be released on parole," says Glaser.

Glaser is frustrated.

"Now we'll have to present another case to the district attorney's office and he'll be convicted again. He'll go back to jail where he should have been in the first place," says Glaser.

According to police, White hadn't been eligible for parole until a criminal justice reform package was passed that changed laws in an effort to reduce the state's high incarceration rate.

"We have a lot of crime in South Louisiana and here in the city of Kenner. We do a good job of solving these crimes and judges sentence them to jail. We expect them to stay in jail," says Glaser.

White is booked on one count of armed robbery and one count of attempted armed robbery.

The Louisiana Department of Safety and Corrections released the following statement:

"Unfortunately, after being given another chance at becoming part of society, it seems as though Tyrone White squandered that opportunity. This week, law enforcement in Jefferson Parish responded quickly to the incident involving White, who is in custody and charged with armed robbery. Probation and Parole was immediately notified about the incident and his subsequent arrest. That means the system is working. 

"At the time of his release on November 2, 2017, White was serving time for simple battery, which is not listed as a violent crime under Louisiana law. He was incarcerated approximately four years. Prior to his early release, he met with a transition specialist and received 100 hours of re-entry programming. 

"Some parolees will re-offend, but the reforms are working and we cannot let anecdote trump proven data to prevent us from adopting evidence-based strategies that have increased public safety in many of our neighboring states, and it will work in Louisiana as well."

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