Archives: November2017

St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office offers Holiday Safety Tips

Posted: November 15th, 2017 | Filed under: News Releases

Now that the holiday season is in full force, many of us will find ourselves rushing from place to place, making lists, and stressing over finding the perfect gift for that special loved one. Busy schedules, holiday parties and heightened stress can leave us distracted and not aware of our surroundings causing us to become easy targets for criminals, St. Bernard Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

Whether you’re shopping in the parish or elsewhere during this holiday season, Sheriff Pohlmann urges St. Bernard Parish residents to take extra precautions to avoid becoming a victim of theft or robbery.

“Remember to pay close attention to your surroundings when doing holiday shopping,’’ the Sheriff said. “It’s possible someone may be watching to take advantage of you because you’re distracted.”

Since the holidays are a time when people often let their guard down because they’re on the go, Sheriff Pohlmann said, “Remembering some common sense safety tips can reduce the chances of something going wrong.”

The Sheriff recommends shopping with a buddy or in a group, but if you must go alone, be aware of your surroundings and follow these simple tips:

  • Pay attention to where you park while shopping and, at night, park only in areas that are well-lit. Always try to park as close as possible to the store’s entrance, and remember to lock your vehicle doors. Taking a photo of where you parked with your cellphone also is helpful in case you forget.
  • Once in a store, men should protect their wallets from pickpockets and women should remember not to leave their purses unattended in shopping carts or on counters where they can easily be taken.
  • Always escort young children to a restroom because minors could be photographed, molested or even abducted if left alone in public restrooms.
  • When shopping in a large store or mall, establish a meeting place with children in advance in case you become separated or instruct them to go only to a store clerk or security officer for help, and not to a stranger who doesn’t work in the store.
  • Scan the parking lot before you exit a store for any suspicious activities, such as people standing in a group in one area or someone sitting in a vehicle watching patrons leave. If you sense something odd, you may want to ask a store officer to escort you to your vehicle.
  • When leaving a store, always exit from a door nearest your parked vehicle. Before heading to your vehicle, have your keys out and in your hand ready to enter your vehicle. Don’t wait until you reach your vehicle to start looking in your purse or pockets for your keys.
  • It’s a good idea to walk around your car and look inside it when you are in a crowded parking lot. Checking the inside of your vehicle before you enter it could prevent you from unexpectedly finding someone waiting in the vehicle to rob you.
  • Once inside your vehicle, lock the doors immediately before leaving your parking space. Avoid sitting in your vehicle, and doing things like talking on the phone or looking at social media. Leave the parking lot as soon a possible.
  • If you are making several stops while shopping, place your packages in your trunk or out of plain sight inside your vehicle. Leaving valuable items visible only provides a temptation to thieves.
  • If you suspect someone is following you, do not go home or pull over. You should remain calm and drive to a crowded place or a nearby Sheriff’s Office substation for assistance.
  • Once home, unload your packages immediately. Do not store valuables in your car any longer than necessary, and certainly never overnight.

The Sheriff also urges residents to call the Sheriff’s Office at (504) 271-2501 if they see something suspicious or 911 if they feel they’re in immediate danger. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Sheriff Pohlmann wishes everyone a safe and happy holiday season.

St. Bernard Sheriff’s office issues arrest warrant for Violet man wanted for fleeing after being detained for DWI

Posted: November 14th, 2017 | Filed under: News Releases

The St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office has issued an arrest warrant for a Violet man who fled from an ambulance as he was being transported to the hospital for health issues after being investigated for driving while intoxicated, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

Renzoll Marrero, 34, of the 3300 block of Moss Lane, crashed his vehicle into a pole on Nov. 11 shortly after 12:30 p.m. while traveling in the eastbound lanes of St. Bernard Highway in Chalmette, near Chalmette Avenue.

Marrero, who was traveling at the time of the crash with three small children, ages 7, 5 and 2, is wanted for DWI, obstruction of justice, possession of marijuana, driving without a license, failure to control a vehicle, no insurance and three counts of cruelty to juvenile.

Sheriff Pohlmann said the three children in the vehicle were not injured in the incident and were released to the custody of their mother.

When deputies arrived on the scene of the crash, Marrero’s speech was slurred, he was disoriented, and at times not able to respond to commands. Emergency medical personnel was called to the scene to render aid to Marrero who stated to deputies he suffers from seizures.

While enroute to a New Orleans hospital, Marrero escaped from the rear of the ambulance and fled on foot. A St. Bernard Parish deputy who was following the ambulance pursued Marrero on foot, but to no avail.

The investigation is ongoing and additional charges could be brought against Marrero in this case.

Anyone with information regarding Marrero’s whereabouts is asked to call the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office at (504) 271-2501 or Crimestoppers GNO at (504) 822-1111. Tipsters who call Crimestoppers can remain anonymous, do not have to testify and could be eligible for a cash reward.

St. Bernard Sheriff’s office agents seize large amount of methamphetamine, cocaine during recent arrests

Posted: November 14th, 2017 | Filed under: News Releases

St. Bernard Sheriff James Pohlmann said three Chalmette men were recently arrested in separate, unrelated incidents in which Special Investigations Division agents seized large amounts of methamphetamine and cocaine. A handgun, marijuana and other narcotics also were recovered.

Sheriff Pohlmann said SID Narcotics Unit agents, acting on information received from an anonymous source and through a sequence of events, booked Joseph Pravata, 38, of the 2800 block of Decomine Street in Chalmette, on Nov. 6 with two counts of cocaine distribution, possession with the intent to distribute cocaine, possession of Oxycodone, possession of MDMA, possession of a firearm while in possession of a controlled dangerous substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Narcotics agents executed a search warrant on Pravata’s residence where they recovered approximately 55 grams, nearly 2 ounces, of cocaine, some packaged in individual bags containing approximately a ½ gram of cocaine. The estimated street value of the cocaine is $5,500.

A semi-automatic handgun found in Pravata’s possession also was recovered, along with 6 Oxycodone tablets, 1 gram of MDMA, razor blades, pipes, weighing devices and additional bags.

Pravata was booked into St. Bernard Parish Prison. He was released Nov. 9 on a $185,500 bond.

In an unrelated incident on Oct. 23 shortly after 9 p.m., Sheriff Pohlmann said, SID Street Crimes Unit agents were investigating what appeared to be a verbal altercation between a man and a woman near the intersection of Packenham Avenue and Lafitte Court in Chalmette.

During the course of the investigation, Michael Trahan, 28, of Carroll Drive in Chalmette,
admitted to agents he was in possession of methamphetamine, and consented to relocating to his home where he gave agents permission to search his residence.

Trahan was booked with possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine (7.6 grams) with an approximate street value of $760, possession of Xanax (1 dose), possession of Naloxone (4 doses), possession of drug paraphernalia, and a traffic warrant issued out of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Trahan is being held in St. Bernard Parish Prison on a $25,000 bond.

In another unrelated incident on Nov. 11 at approximately 11 p.m., Sheriff Pohlmann said, SID Narcotics Unit agents received information from an anonymous source that a man and woman were selling narcotics out of a video poker room inside a Chalmette business on Paris Road.

During the course of the investigation, Robert Paulhus Jr., 55, of the 2300 block of Pelitere Street in Chalmette, was booked with possession of methamphetamine (1.2 grams), and possession of marijuana (.2 grams).

Paulhus is being held in St. Bernard Parish Prison on a $8,500 bond.

Sheriff Pohlmann reminds residents to call the Sheriff’s Office narcotics hotline at (504) 271-DOPE or 3673 to report suspected illegal drug activity in St. Bernard Parish. Callers can remain anonymous, and all calls will be acted upon.

Two St. Bernard Parish Residents Succumb to Injuries from Separate Crashes

Posted: November 13th, 2017 | Filed under: News Releases

St. Bernard Parish – On November 9, 2017, Louisiana State Police Troop B investigated two serious injury crashes. The first crash occurred at approximately 10:20 am and the second crash occurred shortly before 7:00 pm. Both crashes happened on LA 46.

The first crash occurred on LA 46 at Ingargiola Lane. The Troopers’ initial investigation indicated that a 2011 GMC Sierra, driven by 49 year old Johnny Atkinson of St. Bernard, LA, was traveling east on LA 46 and crossed into the westbound lane. The GMC struck a 2013 Nissan Altima, driven by 52 year old Perry Richard of Violet, LA. Perry Richard was wearing a seat belt and was transported to University Medical Center with moderate injuries. The front seat passenger in the Altima, 54 year old Theresa Richard of Violet, LA, was not wearing a seat belt and transported to UMC with critical injuries. Theresa Richard succumbed to her injuries this morning.

Atkinson suffered minor injuries and was transported to a local hospital. Troopers’ suspect impairment on the part of Atkinson, who submitted to a blood test. Those results are pending a toxicological analysis at the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab. Atkinson was arrested for First Degree Vehicular Negligent Injuring (2 counts), Improper Lane Usage and No Seat Belt. He was booked into the St. Bernard Parish Lock-Up on November 9, 2017. The crash remains under investigation and criminal charges may be amended.

Louisiana State Police Troop B investigated the second serious injury crash on LA 46 at Volpe Drive. The crash involved two vehicles and two people were transported to University Medical Center with critical injuries.

The initial investigation indicated that a 2012 Freightliner, driven by 53 year old Kevin Owens of Atlanta, GA, was traveling west on LA 46 approaching Volpe Drive. A 2008 Mercury Grand Marquis, driven by 84 year old Carlo Carollo of St. Bernard, LA, was stopped at the stop sign on Volpe Drive and LA 46. Carollo began to turn onto LA 46 east and was impacted by the Freightliner. Carollo and his passenger, 81 year old Angeline Carollo of St. Bernard, LA, were transported to UMC. Carlo Carollo succumbed to his injuries on November 11, 2017. Angeline Carollo remains in critical condition.

All individuals involved were wearing seat belts. Speed and impairment are not suspected. The crash remains under investigation.

Contact Information:
S/T Melissa Matey
Louisiana State Police
Public Affairs Section
Office: (504) 471-2780

St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office receives Traffic Safety Enforcement Grant

Posted: November 13th, 2017 | Filed under: News Releases

The St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office recently received a grant from the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission to conduct additional traffic safety enforcement activities.

The grant, issued in October, will allow the Sheriff’s Office to have deputies perform seat belt checks and DWI sobriety checkpoints throughout the year.

Sheriff James Pohlmann, who is a member of the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission, representing the 1st Congressional District, feels grants such as this one are an important tool for the Sheriff’s Office.

“These types of programs promote safety on our state roads and highway systems,” Sheriff Pohlmann said. “Too many people are needlessly killed or injured each year in traffic accidents.”

The LHSC is responsible for developing and administering the state’s traffic safety program by cooperating with the federal government and other entities for the purpose of highway safety.

In addition to administering the state’s highway safety grants program, the LHSC also prepares highway safety plans; studies, evaluates and prepares statistics regarding motor vehicle crashes, injuries, and deaths; and obtains federal funds for use within the state for highway safety purposes. Programs and projects are administered in accordance with uniform guidelines.

2017 St. Bernard Property Tax notices mailed; Due by Dec. 31

Posted: November 13th, 2017 | Filed under: News Releases

The St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office, in accordance with Louisiana law, has mailed the 2017 property tax notices via U.S. mail to parish property owners and the taxes must be paid by Dec. 31 before becoming delinquent.

These notices were mailed to the address on file as provided to the St. Bernard Parish Tax Assessor’s Office. Property owners should have received these notices by now.

If anyone receives a tax notice for property they no longer own, please notify the Sheriff’s Civil Tax Office at (504) 271-2504 during regular business hours – Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.

If a property owner has moved and hasn’t received their 2017 tax bill, they need to call the Sheriff’s Office to give their new mailing address so the tax bill can be sent to them, and they also must call or visit the St. Bernard Tax Assessor’s office to give their permanent address change.

The Tax Assessor’s office is located at 2118 Jackson Blvd., directly behind the Parish Courthouse in Chalmette. The Tax Assessor’s number is (504) 279-6379.

The St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office only maintains the address change for the current mailing. The Assessor’s Office keeps the permanent address.

The Sheriff’s Civil Tax office is located on the second floor of the Sheriff’s Annex, at #2 Courthouse Square in Chalmette. The Annex – which is raised above ground – faces Pakenham Drive and is the second of two buildings directly behind the Courthouse.

Property taxes for 2017 are due by Dec. 31 and afterward are considered delinquent.

The Civil Division office, where such bills are paid, will be closed Dec. 22 through Dec. 26 for the Christmas holiday and will re-open at 8:30 a.m. on Dec. 27.

The office also will be closed Dec. 29 for the New Year’s holiday and will re-open at 8:30 a.m. on Jan. 2.

There is a drop box at the front entrance to the building for after-hours use. Tax bills can also be paid online on the Sheriff’s Office website at Go to the left side of the front page to a tan-colored box near the top which says Pay Property Taxes.

Five St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office deputies graduate from P.O.S.T. Academy

Posted: November 13th, 2017 | Filed under: News Releases

Five St. Bernard Parish sheriff’s deputies graduated Nov. 9 from the Peace Officers Standards and Training, or P.O.S.T., basic police academy at the St. Charles Parish Regional P.O.S.T. Academy. At the ceremony are, from left: Dep. Kristian Welch, Maj. Angie Huff, Maj. David DiMaggio, Dep. Corey Bordelon, Dep. Rachel Rauch, Dep. Jessica Edwards, Dep. Emilio Gomez and Capt. Dennis Morgan.

Five St. Bernard Parish sheriff’s deputies graduated Nov. 9 from the Peace Officers Standards and Training, or P.O.S.T., basic police academy at the St. Charles Parish Regional P.O.S.T. Academy.

Graduates are: Deputies Kristian Welch and Rachel Rauch, of the Communications Division, and Deputies Corey Bordelon, Jessica Edwards and Emilio Gomez of Corrections.

The academy includes more than 400 hours of training in basic police work over 12 weeks, including firearms use, criminal investigation, patrol procedures, writing reports, driving training, physical fitness and other areas.

Ranking officers who represented the St. Bernard’s Sheriff’s Office at the ceremony are: Maj. Angie Huff, Maj. David DiMaggio, and Capt. Dennis Morgan.

Administrative offices closed for Veteran’s Day

Posted: November 10th, 2017 | Filed under: News Releases

The St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office administrative offices will be closed on Friday, Nov. 10 in observance of Veteran’s Day. The administrative offices will reopen on Monday, Nov. 13.

Registration being accepted for St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office ‘Refuse To Be A Victim’ lecture

Posted: November 6th, 2017 | Filed under: News Releases

St. Bernard Parish residents looking for free expert advice on crime prevention measures for their home or business are encouraged to register for the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office’s “Refuse To Be a Victim” lecture set for Dec. 7 at 6:30 p.m. on the second floor of the Sheriff’s Training Center, 2118 Jackson Blvd. in Chalmette.

Presented by Capt. Charles Borchers, head of community relations and longtime Crime-Prevention and Neighborhood Watch director for the Sheriff’s Office, and Sgt. Eric Eilers, the lecture will include safety tips on how to avoid becoming a crime victim.

“Refuse To Be A Victim” is nationally recognized program founded in 1993.

To register, call Capt. Borchers at (504) 278-7628 or Sgt. Eilers at (504) 278-7799.

St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office seeking New Orleans woman wanted in connection with rash of car burglaries in Meraux

Posted: November 3rd, 2017 | Filed under: News Releases

The St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office is seeking assistance from the public in locating a New Orleans woman wanted in connection with a rash of car burglaries that occurred in October in the Meraux area, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

Suzanna Keyes, 33, whose last known address was in the 2100 block of Clara Street in New Orleans, is wanted for her involvement with more than a dozen automobile burglaries in Meraux.

The New Orleans Police Department issued an arrest warrant for Keyes for access device fraud after St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office detectives located video surveillance of her at a New Orleans gas station attempting to use a credit card belonging to one of the Meraux victims whose vehicle was burglarized.

In the video, Keyes is seen with Gerald Watson, 52, of the 2500 block of Robert E. Lee Boulevard in New Orleans.

Watson was booked by the NOPD in this case with access device fraud and possession of stolen property, along with possession of drug paraphernalia. Watson is currently being held in Orleans Parish Prison. A warrant also has been issued for his arrest by the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office for burglary.

In October, Sheriff Pohlmann said, more than a dozen residents in Meraux reported their vehicles being entered and items including credit cards being stolen or they witnessed attempted car burglaries through surveillance video.

In all of the cases, Sheriff Pohlmann said, the victims’ vehicles were unlocked.

Sheriff Pohlmann urges residents to keep their vehicles locked at all times in an effort to deter criminals from committing a “crime of opportunity.”

“This is why it’s very important to make sure your vehicles are locked at all times,” Sheriff Pohlmann said. “Locking your vehicle and not leaving items of value in plain sight can greatly reduce your chances of being the victim of theft.”

The St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office is working with the NOPD, the Gonzales Police Department and the Louisiana State Police in this ongoing investigation.

Anyone with information regarding Keyes’ whereabouts or with further information about these burglaries is asked to call the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office at (504) 271-2501 or Crimestoppers GNO at (504) 822-1111. Tipsters who call Crimestoppers can remain anonymous, do not have to testify and could be eligible for a cash reward.