Suspect in 10 burglaries arrested after fleeing into wooded area near the Violet Canal; Shawn Penney already has 13 burglary convictions

Posted: February 4th, 2016 | Filed under: SBSO News

shawn-penney2A St. Bernard Parish man who has 13 burglary convictions on his rap sheet will now have 10 more similar counts.

Shawn Penney, 38, 1710 Heights Drive, was captured Thursday after fleeing into a wooded area near the Violet Canal, Sheriff James Pohlmann said. Sheriff’s SWAT team members and the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force were involved in the arrest.

Penney, who has served time in prison and was released on parole several months ago, will be booked with 10 burglaries committed in eastern St. Bernard Parish since Jan. 7, the sheriff said.

Three of those burglaries, at Violet businesses, were committed this week, including at a convenience store, a bar and a factory. Detectives said Penney has been accused of burglarizing the same bar more than five times since the early 2000s.

In the convenience store break-in early Wednesday morning, a large number of lottery tickets were stolen, sheriff’s detectives said.

That information was sent to Louisiana Lottery officials, who informed the Sheriff’s Office late Thursday afternoon that someone had tried to cash in winning tickets from the stash of stolen ones at an outlet in Violet, the sheriff said.

Detectives determined the man who turned in about $25 in tickets was Paul Johannessen, 36, who also lives on Heights Drive and knows Penney. When arrested, he admitted Penney had given him the tickets to cash in but said he didn’t know they were stolen.

Johannessen was booked with possession of stolen property.

After that arrest, detectives got a search warrant for Penney’s residence. He wasn’t there but the owner let in officers, who found burglary tools and several items believed stolen from the convenience store, the sheriff said.

They were able to obtain a warrant for Penney’s arrest issued by a judge.

Later, detectives received information Penney had fled into a wooded area near the Violet Canal and a search group was organized to look for him on Thursday.