Cops: Slidell family robbed church, sold loot at garage sale
Northshore police say three members of a Slidell family repeatedly burglarized a local church and then tried to sell the items to neighbors at a garage sale.
St. Tammany Sherif's Spokesman George Bonnett says the Pastor of a church under construction on Allen Road in Slidell reported on September 13 that his church had been burglarized, with the thieves making off with music equipment, water coolers, electronics, and generators.
Three days later, the Pastor again called police to report that he'd been hit by burglars a second time.
According to Bonnett, while investigating these two burglaries, detectives got a tip about a garage sale being held three individuals who lived in a residence on Brookter Road in Slidell. The garage sale was reportedly in the same neighborhood as the church.
Detectives arriving upon the scene "noticed several speakers, a CD player and other electronic items advertised for sale on the front lawn of the home," according to Bonnette.
Police also found "two water coolers in the living room and an additional speaker placed in the rear yard of the residence," according to the police report.
St. Tammany detectives say the homeowners, Clariese Jones, Paul Mikell and their daughter, Olivia Jones, later admitted to repeatedly burglarizing the church.
According to the police report, the suspects told detectives the father waited outside in the vehicle while the mother and daughter "went inside the church building and removed multiple items including music equipment, water coolers, generators and additional electronics."
Bonnette noted that the alleged burglars hit a snag: "The trio then departed back to the Brookter Road residence to unload the items. However, later that same evening and before detectives were aware of the church burglary, deputies with the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle, and Clariese Jones was booked on unrelated charges."
Police say the rest of the family then sold some of the stolen loot to pay for the bond of Clariese Jones, who allegedly then went back and robbed the church a second time.
The three were arrested and charged with "Simple Burglary of a Religious Building."