The case of disappearing cell phones at BR City Court

The wall where the lockers were placed
The wall where the lockers were placed

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - People's cell phones have been disappearing from city-provided lockers outside of Baton Rouge City Court while they were inside conducting business.

The rules at city court are clear: No firearms. No knives. No cell phones allowed.

The city provides lockers outside for people who show up with their phones, so they won't have to make the trip back to their cars. Heather Boudreaux said she used one last week.

"I put my cell phone in the locker, and followed the instructions. You had to scramble your code. I triple checked it to the point where another person asked if I needed help with it. I said I was just making sure my cell phone's locked up," Boudreaux said.

But when she walked out three hours later, Boudreaux said the three digit combination she chose did not work. She said a court house employee with a set of keys gave her access.

"She opened up all the lockers to verify that my cell phone wasn't in there, and she confirmed it was missing. She helped me by calling it, and then she made me fill out a form stating that my cell phone was stolen," Boudreaux said.

Ronald Paul said the same thing happened to him.

"I put it in there and I put my code in, and I'm supposed to be the only one with that code and somebody had took it. When I came back out of court to get it, it was gone," Paul said.

When 9News came to city court the lockers were gone. All that was left was a bare wall. Lon Norris, an administrator with the Clerk of Court's office said the lockers are being replaced with a set that will be more user-friendly. He said patrons did not know how to use the lockers, and that is why he believes their items went missing.

Boudreaux said she is not buying it.

"When I told him his employee let me know there was an issue and that multiple phones are stolen daily, he said yeah I can't deny that," Boudreaux said.

Boudreaux said someone in the clerk's office told her the chances of her getting her phone back are highly unlikely.

The lockers are getting an upgrade but not everyone is convinced what happened there was the result of operator error.

"I won't bring my cell phone back here. I'll trust that," Boudreaux said.

Norris said the new lockers should be set up next week. He said they will use keys rather than a combination code, and will come equipped with a surveillance camera.

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