Golden Meadow Man Steals Ambulance from Hospital

Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre announced the arrest of a Golden Meadow man after he stole an ambulance from a local hospital. Rory Guidry, 33, was arrested in St. Charles Parish following the incident.

At around 10:45 p.m. on Friday, December 7, deputies responded to a report of a stolen ambulance taken from Lady of the Sea Hospital in Cut Off. Surrounding parishes were also notified, and the ambulance was stopped by St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies. They identified the driver as Rory Guidry, he was taken into custody. LPSO deputies responded and took custody of Guidry. When questioned about the incident, Guidry admitted to stealing the ambulance and told deputies he had planned to travel to the airport in Kenner and sneak onto a plane to Japan.

Guidry was booked into the Lafourche Parish Detention Center in Thibodaux. He was charged with Theft of a Motor Vehicle. His bond is set at $50,000.

Rory Guidry
Rory Guidry

Free Hunter Education Field Day Slated for December 12

The Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office will host a FREE Hunter Education Field Day on Wednesday, December 12 for anyone age 10 or older who has completed the home study course. The class will take place from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the LPSO Shooting Range located at 3451 Highway 182 in Raceland.

As an alternative to the traditional two-day classroom course, a Home Study Course is available online through the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries website. Those who complete the home study course MUST take their completion voucher to a “Field Day” to complete their hunter education. Entry to the Field Day will be denied unless the completed forms are presented. There will be a written test required to complete the Field Day. Class size is limited. Advance registration is required. CLICK HERE to register for the Field Day.

Firearms and ammunition should NOT be brought to this course, but snacks are permitted. For more information, or for assistance with online registration, call the LPSO Training Academy at (985) 387-4480 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., or email Lieutenant Nolan Smith at nolan-smith@lpso.net.

*Anyone born after September 1, 1969, who wishes to obtain a hunting license in Louisiana, must successfully complete a hunter education course. Exceptions may be granted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries for active or veteran members of the United States armed services, for any P.O.S.T.-certified law enforcement officer, or for persons who are under the direct supervision of a person 18-years or older who is already licensed and has taken the approved course. Exceptions must be applied for and approved by Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

LPSO Consumer Safety Tips for the 2018 Holiday Shopping Season

Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre is offering safety tips for consumers to protect themselves while shopping at stores and online. Retail outlets are advertising significant price cuts and other deals this week in an effort to lure customers. Unfortunately, these deals and the increased number of shoppers tend to lure criminals as well.

“Criminals do not take time off for the holidays,” said Sheriff Webre. “Deputies are conducting extra patrols around shopping centers and stores to keep consumers safe, but there are several ways you can protect yourself and minimize your risk of becoming a victim.”

  • PARKING: Park your vehicle in a well-lit area away from large objects. Lock your vehicle. Never leave keys in the vehicle or leave it running unattended. Hide all purchases in the trunk or use blankets to conceal them.
  • PAYMENT: Using a credit card is the safest method of payment. Only keep cash on you in the amount necessary. If you need to enter a PIN, shield the keypad from bystanders. Save the most expensive purchases for last so they are in your vehicle only for a short time.
  • RETURNING TO VEHICLE: Stay off your phone to avoid distraction. Locate your keys before leaving the store. Check the backseat before entering your vehicle. Upon entering, lock your doors immediately. Change parking locations each time you return to your vehicle.

Con artists may try to distract you to steal your money or belongings. Be wary of anyone approaching you needing “quick cash” or offering you a large check for a smaller amount of cash. Consider shopping with a partner since criminals are more likely to target someone shopping alone. If possible, avoid bringing children shopping as they can hinder your safety by diverting your attention.

Here are a few tips for online shoppers:

  • Look for the “secure” icon in the address bar, or check that the website address begins with “https.”
  • Avoid phishing scams by typing the address of the website instead of clicking a link.
  • Only shop with companies you know and trust.
  • Avoid public Wi-Fi when shopping from a mobile device.
  • Ensure packages will be delivered to a person at a home or office, or opt to pick up the package at a store.

Once your purchases have made it to your home, follow these precautions:

  • Always keep your doors and windows locked.
  • Keep blinds or curtains closed to ensure merchandise and gifts are not visible from outside.
  • Break down large boxes for high-value items instead of placing them near the roadside.
  • Place all trash in black or dark-colored garbage bags.
  • Avoid any social media posts indicating you are not home.

If your family is vacationing during the holidays for an extended period of time, ask a trusted friend or neighbor to check on your house daily. Have them pick up any mail and newspapers to avoid the appearance that no one is home.

All shoppers should save receipts and order confirmations as these are key in tracking down stolen property. If your credit card is lost, stolen, or misused, immediately notify your credit card issuer. If you know your card to have been stolen or if fraudulent charges appear on your account, you should also contact the Sheriff’s Office to file a complaint. If possible, consumers are encouraged to always monitor online banking records for fraudulent activity, especially during the holiday season.

Citizens are also advised to be wary of phone scams, especially for fake charities, which tend to occur during the holiday season. Always attempt to verify a charity by researching online, and NEVER give personal or financial information over the phone to an incoming caller.

Disturbance Call Leads to Arrest of a Raceland Man for Illegal Possession of Firearm and Marijuana

Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre announced a Raceland Man was arrested after deputies responded to a domestic disturbance and led to the seizure of over 137 ounces of marijuana. Damer Smith, 42, faces multiple charges following the incident.

Just after 5:30 a.m. on Saturday, November 17, deputies responded to a disturbance at Smith’s residence on St. Louis Street in Raceland in which he was threatening to kill everyone in the house. Upon arrival, deputies knocked on the door. A man, later identified as Smith, asked who was at the door, and deputies heard a firearm being racked. As deputies took cover, Smith emerged and fired one round into the front yard area before retreating back into the residence. Deputies set up a perimeter and waited for assistance. As additional deputies arrived, they gave loud commands for Smith to exit the residence. After some time, Smith exited the residence and surrendered.

Deputies discovered four children inside the residence. While inside, deputies found a handgun which Smith is prohibited from possessing due to a domestic abuse battery. Deputies obtained a search warrant for the home and located a shotgun, various amounts of ammunition, over 137 ounces of suspected marijuana and various drug paraphernalia.

Smith was arrested and booked into the Lafourche Parish Detention Center. He was charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana, Possession of a Firearm by a Person Convicted of Domestic Abuse Battery, Illegal Carrying of a Weapon in the Presence of a Controlled Dangerous Substance, Illegal Use of Weapons or Dangerous Instrumentalities (Aggravated Assault), Domestic Abuse Aggravated Assault with Child Endangerment, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. He was also booked on an outstanding warrant for Contempt of Court. His bond is set at $102,000.

Damer Smith
Damer Smith

Golden Meadow Man Arrested for Stabbing Another Man During Fight

Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre announced a Golden Meadow man was arrested for allegedly stabbing another man during an altercation. Leanardo Cruggs, 29, was charged with aggravated battery in the incident.

Just before 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, November 18, deputies responded to East 178th Street in reference to a stabbing. A Golden Meadow Police officer also responded to assist and made contact with Cruggs upon arrival. Cruggs had what appeared to be blood on his hands and clothing, and he was detained.

Meanwhile, deputies made contact with the male victim who had larger lacerations to his left leg and arm and several small lacerations. Deputies learned the victim was at Cruggs’ residence when he got into an argument with a woman at the residence. Cruggs then stepped in and began to fight with the man. During the fight, Cruggs allegedly retrieved a knife and stabbed the victim.

Cruggs was arrested and booked into the Lafourche Parish Detention Center. He was charged with Aggravated Battery with a Dangerous Weapon. His bond is set at $10,000.

Leanardo Cruggs
Leanardo Cruggs

Incident at Catahoula Correctional Center under Investigation Following Death of Lafourche Inmate

Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre announced an investigation is underway into the death of a Lafourche Parish inmate following an incident at the Catahoula Correctional Center in which he was being housed. Kevin Percle, 50, of Chackbay was pronounced dead at a local hospital on November 12, 2018. Percle’s death is being investigated by the Catahoula Parish Sheriff’s Office, and LPSO is assisting with the investigation.

Percle was transferred to the Catahoula Correctional Center on October 21, 2018. During his stay, an incident occurred involving another inmate where he suffered a blow to the head, but the incident was not reported at that time. He was transferred back to the Lafourche Parish Detention Center on November 4, 2018 due to an impending court date. A few days after returning, investigators confirmed the incident had taken place.

On the morning of November 12, correctional officers found Percle unresponsive with labored breathing, and he was taken to a local hospital. Percle was later pronounced dead at the hospital, and a subsequent autopsy determined the cause of death to be a homicide due to trauma to the brain.

The Catahoula Parish Sheriff’s Office is conducting the investigation, and LPSO is assisting in the investigation. The Catahoula Correctional Center is privately owned by Lasalle Corrections.

Percle was arrested October 9, 2018 on active warrants for contempt of court and Simple Battery, and he was facing previous charges of Domestic Abuse Battery. He was being housed in Catahoula Parish due to overcrowding at the Lafourche Parish Detention Center. Lafourche Parish Government has contracted to house prisoners in other parishes including Catahoula.

Kevin Percle Kevin Percle

UPDATE: Crime Stoppers Tip Leads to Arrest for Raceland Vehicle Burglaries

Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre announced a tip submitted to Crime Stoppers Bayou Region led to an arrested for recent vehicle burglaries in the Raceland area. Tyler Holmes, 20, of Thibodaux is charged with several counts of burglary and attempted burglary.

On October 19, 2018, detectives began investigating a string of burglaries and attempted burglaries of vehicles along Aspen Drive and Elm Drive in Raceland. A male suspect was captured on several surveillance cameras burglarizing or attempting to burglarize vehicles on those streets. In all, detectives found evidence the suspect had entered six vehicles to steal items and attempted to enter four others which were locked.

On October 23, 2018, the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office released surveillance video and images of the suspect to the public. Several anonymous tips were submitted to Crime Stoppers Bayou Region identifying the suspect as Tyler Holmes. After confirming the identity with multiple sources, detectives obtained a warrant for his arrest.

On Tuesday, November 13, detectives made contact with Holmes, and he was arrested. Holmes was charged with six counts of Simple Burglary and four counts of Attempted Simple Burglary. His bond is set at $80,000.

Tyler Holmes Tyler Holmes

Donations Being Accepted for 25th Annual LPSO Christmas Bicycle Giveaway

Sheriff Craig Webre announced that donations are still being accepted for the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office’s 25th annual Christmas Bicycle Giveaway. More than 4,200 bicycles have been distributed to needy children in our area. In 2017, 100 bikes were delivered to children throughout Lafourche Parish. Donations are accepted year-round, and used bicycles are refurbished and repaired by inmate workers.

Sheriff Webre asks that any bicycles donated at this time be either brand new or in need of only minor repairs due to the giveaway taking place next month. Monetary donations are also accepted, and checks should be made payable to the Lafourche Deputies Association with the words “Bike Giveaway” in the memo line. Bicycles and monetary donations may be dropped off at any Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office location through the parish.

“I want to thank the generous people of Lafourche Parish who have made this program possible for 25 years,” said Sheriff Webre. “Thanks to your donations, we have brought a little Christmas joy to thousands of children over the years. In many cases, this was the only gift, or most significant gift, these children received.”

Beginning December 3, 2018, any Lafourche Parish parent with a child in need can submit their child’s name, age, gender, address, phone number, and other qualifying information by calling (985) 632-8836. Due to high demand, requests should be limited to no more than two bicycles per family. The children must also live in Lafourche Parish.

2018 Tax Notices Being Sent to Property Owners

Sheriff Craig Webre announced the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office will send out 40,923 tax notices this week to Lafourche Parish property owners. An additional 11,521 properties are homestead exempt, and no taxes are owed. A total of $117,668,444.64 in property taxes are now due and can be paid online, in person, or by mail. These taxes help fund all aspects of public service in the parish such as roads, drainage, levees, law enforcement, fire departments, hospitals, ambulance services, schools, and recreation.

Property taxes are due by December 31, 2018, and unpaid taxes become delinquent on January 1, 2019. Per state law, delinquent taxes accrue interest at a rate of 1% per month until paid.

FULL PAYMENTS: Payments can be made in full online at www.LPSO.net/PayMyTaxes. Full payments via cash, credit card, debit card, check, or money order can also be made at the LPSO Administrative Office (200 Canal Boulevard, Thibodaux) and at the South Lafourche Sub-station (102 West 91st Street, Cut Off). A surcharge will apply for all card payments. For added convenience, customers of the following banks may pay their taxes at any Lafourche branch of their bank through December 31, 2018: First American Bank, South Lafourche Bank, State Bank & Trust, United Community Bank, and Whitney Bank. Payments can also be mailed to Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office, P.O. Box 679538, Dallas, TX 75267-9538. This is a special address for mailing in tax payments because of a new process.

PARTIAL PAYMENTS: For those unable to pay in full by December 31, 2018, partial payments can be made by mail to P.O. Box 5608, Thibodaux, LA 70302, or in person at the aforementioned LPSO offices. Each partial payment must be at least 25% of the total amount of property tax due, and the first partial payment must be made prior to December 31, 2018. The remaining unpaid amount is still subject to the 1% monthly penalty per state law.

All unpaid taxes will accrue additional costs associated with the tax sale. If the property is sold at the tax sale, the property owner is subject to loss of the homestead exemption. Property sold at the tax sale may be redeemed up to three years from the date the property is sold, but per state law, a 5% penalty will apply as well as a monthly interest rate of 1%. The owner must contact the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office to redeem the property.

Any unpaid taxes on movable/inventory property may cause the property in questions to be seized and sold at auction or a writ may be sought to levy the property owner’s bank account for the amount of taxes owed.

The current property owner is responsible for all taxes due. Anyone who purchased property in 2018 may not receive a tax bill due to it being sent to the previous owner. Homeowners with mortgages should check with their mortgage company before making a payment as those companies generally collect escrow and pay property taxes on behalf of the property owner. Please check whether your mortgage company will make your tax payment before you make a separate payment directly to the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Questions regarding property ownership and assessment should be directed to the Lafourche Parish Assessor’s Office at (985) 447-7242. For more information about tax payments, property owners can contact the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office at (985) 449-4431.

Chackbay Man Arrested after Agents Find Drugs, Weapons, and Cash at His Residence

Justin Zeringue Seizure

Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre announced the arrest of a Chackbay man after narcotics agents found drugs, weapons, and cash at his residence.  Justin Zeringue, 24, was arrested following the search.

Through the course of an investigation, narcotics agents obtained a search warrant for Zeringue’s residence on Meadow View Court in Chackbay. On Wednesday, November 7, agents arrived at the residence and made contact with Zeringue. During a search of the residence, agents seized 135 grams of suspected high-grade marijuana and more than 50 packages of substances containing THC concentrate. They also seized 36 Xanax pills, 30 hydrocodone pills, two semi-automatic handguns, approximately $1,300 in cash, and a large amount of drug paraphernalia. Agents also discovered two large bottles containing suspected promethazine and 11 empty bottles which once contained the legend drug.

Zeringue was arrested and booked into the Lafourche Parish Detention Center in Thibodaux. He was charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute Hydrocodone, Xanax, Marijuana and Legend Drugs. He was also charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Illegal Carrying of a Weapon in the Presence of a Controlled Dangerous Substance. Zeringue was released early Thursday morning after posting $65,200 bond.

Justin Zeringue
Justin Zeringue