N.O. man caught while committing fifth burglary of vehicles in eight days; confesses after arrest in Arabi
A New Orleans man with a lengthy criminal history was caught by St. Bernard sheriff’s deputies on Tuesday, Jan. 29, while committing his fifth burglary in eight days, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.
Reginald Orange, 44, 2623 Almonaster St., confessed to five burglaries after his arrest in mid-afternoon after breaking a lock on a trailer at an Arabi residence and stealing several items.
Orange stole more than $15,000 worth of property before he was caught but only a small amount of stolen goods was recovered.
When arrested, Orange had a red Jeep Cherokee that deputies had been on the lookout for since the vehicle was spotted leaving St. Bernard for New Orleans early on Jan. 21, the sheriff said. It also matched the description a victim gave of the vehicle he saw leaving his area after his vehicle was burglarized that morning. “This is the typical pattern with burglars and thieves,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said. “They commit a spree of crimes before they are caught. In this case we were able to catch him at the scene and he confessed to ones he was a suspect in.’’
Orange was arrested for vehicle theft in Arabi last year but the charge was later thrown out.
In this latest series of crimes, Orange not only committed five burglaries in eight days, when he was arrested it was his second of the day in Arabi, he admitted.
About 7 a.m. he had stolen a generator and other items from a trailer at a construction site, then was caught at a second location in the afternoon, Orange told sheriff’s detectives, Sheriff Pohlmann said.
The Sheriff’s Office received information that the red Jeep Cherokee was seen entering St. Bernard Parish on Tuesday and deputies spotted it in a driveway of an Arabi residence and he had several stolen items in his possession.
Orange was jailed in St. Bernard Parish Prison pending an appearance before a judge to have bond set.
Marchers remembered slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday wilh a parade in Chalmette on the anniversary of his birthday and held a rally afterward at the Frederick J. Sigur Civic Center, where Justice of the Peace Barbara Manuel spoke and essay covehicles test winners from local schools wiere recognized. Sheriff James Pohlmann and Parish President David Peralta rode vehicles in the parade.
Sheriff’s vehicles to bear message: “Don’t Trash Our Parish – Keep St. Bernard Clean”; 150 stickers given by Community Foundation for beautification effort
It’s a simple message: “Don’t Trash Our Parish – Keep St. Bernard Clean.’’ And soon more than 100 sheriff’s vehicles will bear it in the form of stickers for residents to see, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.
About 150 stickers, to be placed on the rear window of sheriff’s vehicles, were donated by the St. Bernard Parish Community Foundation, of which Polly Campbell is executive director and Claudette Reuther is chair lady of the board. Sheriff’s Office employee Joseph DiFatta is also a board member.
The stickers are going on vehicles now and will be seen on St. Bernard streets, the sheriff said.
Sheriff Pohlmann said, “This is part of an ongoing beautification and anti-litter effort the Sheriff’s Office has been involved in for nearly two years with Polly Campbell and her groups and we lwanted to promote St. Bernard as an attractive place to live.’’
The Sheriff’s Office uses supervised prison work crews to go out from the parish jail and perform community service projects “such as picking up trash along St. Bernard highways, planting trees on neutral grounds, mowing the grass at Pearl Harbor Park in Chalmette, re-painting at the parish Council on Aging building and doing other jobs ,’’ the sheriff said.
Sheriff Pohlmann added, “We hope residents take to heart the anti-litter message and have enough pride in their parish not to want to trash it.”
Parish government will also receive the same stickers for government vehicles, Campbell said.
She said she also appreciates what the sheriff’s prison work crews have done for beautification in St. Bernard by regularly picking up trash, planting trees and other things they do.
Sheriff’s Office receives Arc of GNO’s Community Service Award for commitment to the restoration of its programming and facilities in Chalmette
Arc of Greater New Orleans, an organization that provides a support system for intellectually disabled adults in the area, has awarded the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office with one of its prestigious Community Service awards.
The award was for the department’s on-going commitment to the restoration of Arc programming and facilities, as well as community beautification effortsprovided by the Sheriff’s office including planting trees and picking up litter on highways.
Sheriff James Pohlmann has consistently supported the non-profit Arc program based at the old Prince of Peace church grounds on Jean Lafitte Parkway, including providing prison labor to help with renovation and clean-up at the Chalmette location.
Sheriff Pohlmann has also visited the program twice to talk with the adults involved there. He was heartily greeted last August when he and Community Relations head Capt. Charles Borchers visited the Arc of Greater New Orleans Center in Chalmette. Last May, the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics in St. Bernard started and ended at the Arc Center and some of the adults of the center rode bicycles put together by prison labor to take part in the Torch Run.
More than 20 intellectually disabled adults ranging in age from their 20s to about 70 and who live in St. Bernard and part of New Orleans spend the day Monday through Friday at the center. They takie part in supervised activities including community service projects. Kristi Andre is program coordinator for the center in Chalmette.
The sheriff receiived the award at a recent ceremony, also accepting on behalf of Capt. Adrian Chalona and Sheriff’s Deputy James Harper, who were singled out for their work with trusty prisoner crews who do community service work outside the St. Bernard Parish Prison.
Sheriff Pohlmann said, “I appreciate our department being recognized by Arc for the community service work we do with our prison work program. I will also continue to do what we can to help Arc and I respect the work they do for adults with intellectual disabilities.”
Arc, in a statement issued for the award, said, “Sometimes, doing your job falls outside of the definitions normally ascribed to your office. Such is the case of the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office, whose job is to keep St. Bernard citizens and properties safe.
“To most of us that means deputies riding around in patrol cars issuing speeding tickets or arresting criminals,’’ the statement said. “However, because of the strong commitment to not only guarding but helping to foster a healthy, vibrant community, the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office, under Sheriff James Pohlmann, adds community service to its daily duties.
“St. Bernard Parish Prison trusty crews work regularly throughout the parish picking up trash, planting trees and mowing grass and at Christmas time can also be seen putting up and taking down the candy canes that line Judge Perez Drive.”
Arc volunteer Polly Cambell, who is executive director of the St. Bernard Community Foundation, said, “I love the work program that gives trusty prison inmates the opportunity to form healthy relationships with community members.’’ So much has been accomplished to beautify St. Bernard through prison workers planning trees, picking up litter and keeping Pearl Harbor Park on Paris Road mowed and clean, Campblall said.
“Who do we want back on our streets? Angry inmates who can’t wait to get out or ones who are heavily invested in major community projects they have worked on,’’ Campbell said.
Sheriff’s Office will continue keeping St. Bernard safe by emphasizing quick response time when called and good cooperation with residents
Let me begin my new administration by saying I was so honored to be elected sheriff by the residents of St. Bernard last November, when they showed confidence in my ability to continue keeping this parish safe.
I have grown up with the Sheriff’s Office, beginning here in 1983 when I was just 18 years old and continuing for the next 29 years. I thank Sheriff Jack A. Stephens, who decided to retire rather than seek re-election, for putting me in positions to gain the experience that has helped me become sheriff.
I am a traditionalist in many ways, one of them being I feel there is a bond between residents and their law enforcement agency.
You have the right to expect we will suppress crime as best we can, using innovative as well as Old School methods of policing, to give you a parish where you can raise a family and live a life free of fear. That’s what anyone should want.
St. Bernard Parish remains the safest in the New Orleans area, a place where the Sheriff’s Office’s top priority is quick response time by deputies if residents need help, as well as pro-active efforts like narcotics enforcement.
And if you get a handle on drugs you decrease property crimes which are fueled by addicts robbing or stealing to get their next fix.
But to help us we rely on residents to be our first eyes on their neighborhood. You know what does and doesn’t look right in your area.
Call us at (504) 271-2501 if you see anything suspicious. And if it turns out to be nothing, so what? We would rather check it out and make sure. Good cooperation between the community, businesses and the Sheriff’s Office has always existed in this parish.
Timely calls by people lead to arrests, no doubt about it. We are fortunate to have residents willing to report what they see.
We are answering 3,000 calls a month for assistance from the public and are making 200 arrests a month, focusing on narcotics activity, personal and property crimes and traffic enforcement.’’
We have re-introduced the D.A.R.E. anti-drug program for children in schools and re-started the Citizens Police Academy for residents to better understand law enforcement.
Neighborhood Watch programs, Business Watch and the Night Out Against Crime are also back.
Call Capt. Charles Borchers at 278-7628 to sign up for Citizens Police Academy or to form a Neighborhood Watch group or hold a neighorhood party for National Night Out.
Since I became chief deputy in 2008, new programs have also begun. I have appointed a Quality of Life Officer to deal with issues where blight promotes criminal activity. You can reach him through Borchers phone number.
I have also started the Refuse to be a Victim program for residents to get common sense tips about keeping themselves from becoming crime victims.
I also moved to partner our department with the Battered Women’s Shelter to reduce domestic violence in our parish in 2009. Since then, I’m proud to say we haven’t had a domestic killing and have seen a much reduced number of serious injuries. Also, a detective was appointed to handle soley domestic violence cases and act as an advoate for victims.
Becoming familiar with the increased number of autistic individuals in our nation, I began a series of training sessions for all enforcement officers to help them better recognize the signs of autism and better understand and deal with autistic individuals they deal with.
I have also moved to make TASERS available to sheriff’s enforement divisions to avoid injury to both officers and criminal suspects they deal with. We have trained officers in the use of Tasers and have requested grants to acquire more of them for possilble use if necessary.
I have also stepped up our community outreach program to establish both sports outlets for at-risk youth and give them additional opportunities to learn basic life lessons we teach, including how to go about getting them ready for job hunting in the real world.
Our Number 1 complaint from the public is always traffic enforcement, which we continue to work on but we are thankful it is the worst complaint.
As the new sheriff, our department has already moved to change the uniform, badge and patch deputies will wear. A new look for our vehicles is also on the way.
But I promise the essence of what makes the Sheriff’s Office what it is won’t change.
Hope it meets your approval.
Col. Forrest Bethay Jr. and Dep. Jimmy Slater recognized on their retirement from the Sheriff’s Office
Col. Forrest Bethay Jr. and Dep. Sheriff Jimmy Slater were recently recognized by Sheriff James Pohlmann on their retirement from the Sheriff’s Office. Slater, at left, was with the Sheriff’s Office 16 years, primarly in the Traffic Division. Bethay, at right, was with the department for 28 years and was one of he top assistants to now retired Sheriff Jack A. Stephens, specializing in narcotics enforcement, although he also served a tenure as prison warden.
Chalmette man booked with 11 vehicle burglaries; Witness saw him leave two cars at 2 a.m. and he was arrested; Probe tied him to 9 others the same night
A Chalmette man has been booked with 11 vehicle burglaries that happened early Jan. 13 after he was initially arrested after a witness saw him leave two cars at 2 a.m. and a follow-up investigation by sheriff’s detectives linked him to nine other break-ins the same night, St. Bernard Parish Sheriff James Pohlmann said.
Jason Knight, 33, whose home address was listed on Rosetta Drive, Chalmette, but he had just moved in with his sister at 2025 Octavia St., is being held in St. Bernard Parish Prison in lieu of bond set at $44,500. Some stolen property was recovered.
Knight has a criminal history that includes arrests for burglary, shoplifting and drugs, Sheriff Pohlmann said.
A witness on Octavia Street reported he saw a man get in and out of two vehicles parked in a driveway on Octavia Street just before 2 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 13, and approached and asked what he was doing. The man said he had the permission of the owners to go in the vehicles, the sheriff said, but the witness, who knew the owners of the vehicles was suspicious and saw the man he spoke with walk to 2025 Octavia and go inside.
Then the witness went to the home of the owners to tell them what happened and they said no one had permission to be in their vehicles and the Sheriff’s Office was called and they reported a small amount of money had been stolen, the sheriff said.
When deputies immediately went to 2025 Octavia a woman there said her brother, Jason Knight, who had just moved in the day before, was inside, but Knight fled out the back door when he saw officers and was caught by Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Spadoni.
Knight was initially booked with those two burglaries as well as with resisting an officer.
But later Sunday morning numerous others in the neighborhood began reporting their vehicles had been entered and rummaged through, Sheriff Pohlmann said.
Also, a the owner of a nearby business on East St. Bernard Highway just east of Paris Road said his surveillance system showed someone walking and pulling on door handles of several vehicles in the area and entering vehicles, Sheriff Pohlmann said.
Knight was identified as the man shown on the surveillance system and he was seen carrying a backpack he didn’t have when later arrested, the sheriff said.
The backpack, determined to have been stolen in one burglary, was found near another burglarized vehicle and inside were contents from still other burglaries, including the vehicle registration to a car that had been burglarized, the sheriff said. Knight apparently dropped the backpack in his haste.
Sheriff’s Detective Michael Schiro booked Knight with the additional nine burglary counts on Monday, after he was in Parish Prison.
Also, Sheriff Pohlmann noted that residents should remember to lock their vehicles because, as in the great majority of vehicle burglaries in St. Bernard Parish, nearly all the ones burglarized were unlocked, leaving them easy prey for people who walk around at night pulling on door handles until they find an unlocked ones to enter.
The driver of an 18-wheel tanker truck was booked with negligent homicide and making an illegal left turn from the right-hand lane in the Saturday, Jan. 12 death of a Chalmette motorcyclist who struck the side of the truck as it was making a U-turn on West St. Bernard Highway in Chalmette.
State Police arrested Terry Dunn, 60, of Columbia, La., following the 5:30 p.m. two-vehicle crash that killed Maxime Daboval Jr., 64, who was riding a motorcycle west-bound and collided with the cab of the turning truck at the intersection of Coffee Drive in Chalmette.
Daboval was pronounced dead at the scene.
Dunn, who was driving the truck for Miller Transporters Inc., admitted to investigating officers he tried to make a U-turn from the right lane as he was going west-bound on West St. Bernard Highway. Dunn also said he never saw the motorcyclist, State Police said.
There were no signs of impairment by the truck driver, authorities said.
Dunn was booked into St. Bernard Parish Prison, where he was being held in lieu of $125,000 bond set Monday.
Sheriff warns residents of Star 72 phone scam in which a caller tries to get you to forward calls and ultimately you owe the bill for calls made
Imagine relaxing at home and you get a call from a polite-sounding person who claims to be a police officer and informs you a relative or friend has been injured in another city. They tell you to call their superior officer for more details, asking you to dial *72 on your phone and then enter other numbers.
Would you be panicked and dial the number?
If you do you could end up owing a lot of money to your phone company because it could be a scheme in which someone else can make unlimited calls charged to your phone number.
A St. Bernard Parish resident who didn’t fall for the trick reported a recent scam attempt.
Sheriff James Pohlmann is warning residents to be aware of what is being called the Star 72 scam that has been going on around the nation, frequently originating with inmates calling from a prison and then using an unsuspecting person’s phone number to make unlimited calls.
The number they tell you to call always has Star 72 at the beginning. If you dial *72 and then a number, you are actually transferring your phone over to a scammer.
Some of these could be international calls that could cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars.
The sheriff said, “Never enter *72 into your phone unless you fully intend to transfer your phone to another location.’’
“And If you get a call from someone you don’t know asking you to forward your phone to another number you should hang up,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said/ “Next you should report that number you are told to call to the Sheriff’s Office at (504) 271-2501 to make a report of the scam attempt.”
If you learn you have been tricked you can shut off the transfer of your phone by pushing *73, then immediately call your phone company to report the problem, the sheriff said.
Some phone companies may try to hold you liable for the charges, so getting a police report from the Sheriff’s Office to verify your complaint could be vital in preventing you from being charged.
For more information, go online and use a search engine to look up Star 72 scam.
CBS News has reported that one 15-year-old girl who thought she was helping out someone who called her family phone ended up with a $160 charge on her parents’ phone bill because she agreed to forward a call for a stranger. The man, according to CBS News, turned out to be an inmate from Dallas County Jail who told the girl he had called her accidentally while trying to reach his mother. He asked that since he only got one phone call, could she forward the call to his mother — by dialing *72.
Pressing *72 or 72# activates a call-forwarding feature on phones. Every call made to your number from then on will be forwarded to a pay phone or other involved third party. However, you are responsible for the charges incurred because the calls are being forwarded from your number.
This scam has been going on around the country and involves not only inmates but also everyday con artists. According to the CBS News report, “The problem is rampant. In Florida, at least two inmates racked up more than $50,000 worth of collect calls to more than a hundred families.”
As described by AT&T, the *72 scam works like this:
“Star-7-2 is a custom feature for call-forwarding. When the customer dials *72 followed by a telephone number, it activates the call -forwarding feature causing all your incoming calls to ring at another number.
At the end of the other line — whether calls have been forwarded to a landline, a cell phone or a payphone — the original caller’s partner-in-crime is able to accept all collect and third-party calls, while telling your own legitimate callers that they have the wrong number. You get billed for all calls made because your number is the one from which they are forwarded.”
Scammers use the following scenarios most often as they try to play to the sympathies of their victim:
• An inmate calling and saying he or she needs you to call their mother for them (they say they called you “accidentally” and say they can’t make another call).
• An inmate calling and saying he was arrested for a minor traffic ticket and needs to call a relative to pick up his children from the police station (again, calling you “accidentally).
• Someone calling and pretending to be a phone-company technician who needs to check your phone line for a problem. In order to receive “remote access,” they ask the victim to input a code of *72 or 72#.
• A person calling and impersonating a police officer, telling the victim a relative or close friend has been injured in an auto accident. In order to find out more information, the con artist says, the victim must call another officer by pressing *72 followed by another phone number.
• A person calling from a payphone and saying they don’t have the additional change needed to make an emergency call, then asking you to forward their call.
Sheriff’s Reserve Division on the upswing but applications are being accepted for more members as the department tries to build back to 40 volunteers
The St. Bernard Sheriff’s Reserve Division, the unpaid volunteer group which supplements department manpower for special occasions such as athletic events, parades, festivals and other public gatherings, saw its numbers nearly decimated by Hurricane Katrina.
Many of its members moved from St. Bernard Parish in the aftermath of the storm and weren’t able to continue on the force.
Reserve Division membership was growing under long-time head Col. Jerry Rathburn, who died in 2012.
Sheriff James Pohlmann said the group is further on the upswing under Capt. Charles Borchers, who took the helm last summer.
The Reserve Division is up to 20 members, with the approval of several new members recently, the sheriff said.
At a recent appreciation dinner for the group during the holidays, Sheriff Pohlmann thanked them for their time and the effort they put forth for the parish and said he wants to go further with the Reserves.
“I would like to get the Reserve Division up to about 40 members,’’ the sheriff said. “We could use that many.’’
“Some members of the Reserve Division have gone on to become regular sheriff’s deputies and are still with us,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said.
Capt. Borchers said he is accepting applications for the Reserve Division from St. Bernard Parish residents who have a clean police record and would like to serve their community.
Borchers can be reached at (504) 278-7628 for further information and applicants will be directed to fill out further paperwork.
To apply for the Reserve Division an applicant:
– Must live in St. Bernard Parish.
– Be able to pass a background check and drug screen, which would be done on all applicants.
– Be at least 21 years old.
– Have earned a high school diploma or GED.
“Applicants don’t need a background in law enforcement’’ to be a reserve officer, Borchers said. “ We will give you the training but wanting do it to help your parish is the big thing.’’