Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre reported the arrest of two men following an early morning pursuit that ended when the suspects crashed their vehicle into a Lockport museum. Jardon Lirette (W/M, D.O.B. 08/30/91) of 111 Mathilde Lane, and Jessie Bergeron (W/M, D.O.B. 07/19/89) of 308 Lydia Street, both of Gray, La., are each facing several charges after attempting to steal welding leads from a Lockport shipyard.
While working a detail at the shipyard around 12:00 A.M. early Tuesday morning, a deputy observed two subjects enter a vehicle with what appeared to be items taken from the shipyard. As the deputy approached, the subjects fled in the vehicle headed southbound on LA Highway 308. Another deputy joined the pursuit as the suspects vehicle continued southbound traveling at a high rate of speed. The suspects then turned right onto the Valentine Pontoon Bridge, crossed over to LA Highway 1, and continued northbound at a high rate of speed where a third deputy joined the pursuit. Heading northbound on LA-1, the suspects vehicle reached the Town of Lockport where it continued onto Main Street. The vehicle pursuit ended when the subjects attempted to turn left from Main Street onto Lafourche Street, lost control, and crashed into the Bayou Lafourche Folk Life and Heritage Museum causing moderate damage to the building.
The subjects, later identified as Lirette and Bergeron, then fled the scene on foot headed in opposite directions. Deputies were able to locate Lirette at the edge of the Company Canal as he was attempting to hide underwater. Minutes later, deputies also located and apprehended Bergeron. Both suspects were first transported by ambulance to Ochsner St. Anne Hospital to be treated for minor injuries, and then later brought to the Criminal Operations Center in Lockport for questioning. Deputies also discovered a large amount of welding leads in the suspects vehicle at the scene.
Following their interviews with detectives, Lirette and Bergeron were transported to the Lafourche Parish Detention Center in Thibodaux. They were both booked with one count each of Simple Burglary, Aggravated Flight from an Officer (Intentional Refusal to Stop/Life Endangerment), and Felony Simple Criminal Damage to Property. Bergeron remains in lieu of $11,000.00 bond, and Lirette remains in lieu of $16,000.00 bond, both as set by Judge Jerome J. Barbera. Lirette is also being held for the Louisiana Department of Probation and Parole, and his criminal history includes 26 arrests since 2009, including priors for theft and burglary, and 18 prison stays. Bergerons criminal history shows seven (7) arrests, including one for theft, and six (6) prison stays.
This type of criminal element is the lowest of the low, said Sheriff Craig Webre. I am sick and tired of despicable cowards using the cover of darkness to burglarize peoples homes and businesses. In this particular case, these two young men are repeat offenders. Unfortunately, due to limited jail space, these criminals are able to manipulate the system and not truly be held fully accountable for the crimes they commit.
I want to applaud the outstanding work of the officers who were part of this pursuit, continued Sheriff Webre. While pursuits are always dangerous, our officers have been trained to maintain the highest possible safety standards in these situations, and thankfully no one was seriously injured. As for these crimes, we are making use of cameras and other technology to help identify suspects, and it is leading to more and more arrests.
The investigation into this burglary case is continuing, and detectives say more arrests could be forthcoming.