LAFOURCHE PARISH, LA (WAFB) - Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre announced that they have made an arrest in an investigation into a suspected retail theft ring.
Webre says deputies have recovered over $6000 in stolen merchandise from several Walmart stores in South Louisiana. They have also arrested one suspect, 32-year-old Edward Lawson of Thibodaux, and issued a warrant for a second suspect, 44-year-old Willie Holmes.
According to deputies, they began an investigation earlier this month into two incidents at the Walmart Supercenter in Raceland.
On, Saturday, November 14, three men were seen leaving the store with over $800 worth of merchandise without paying for it. Two of the men seen leaving the store were later identified as Lawson and Holmes.
In another incident on Wednesday, November 18, a male suspect attempted to steal over $300 worth of merchandise from the store.
During the investigation, deputies learned that a group of individuals, including Lawson and Holmes, had committed several thefts at Walmart stores across South Louisiana. They also learned that the items were being stored inside of a storage unit in Bayou Blue.
Investigators obtained a search warrant for the storage unit and discovered more than 60 stolen items from all three Walmart stores in Lafourche Parish as well as other stores in and around the Baton Rouge area. The total value of the merchandise recovered is $6,159.56.
Lawson was arrested on November 18 and booked into the Lafourche Parish Detention Center where he has been charged with felony theft by shoplifting in the November 14 incident. He has also been charged with misdemeanor theft and criminal trespassing from an outstanding warrant from a previous case in which he allegedly stole an ice chest and fishing equipment from a home in Gray.
Lawson was released on November 20 after posting a $2000 bond.
Deputies are still searching for Holmes. When arrested, Holmes, who also has an active warrant in East Baton Rouge Parish, will also be charged with felony theft by shoplifting.
Detectives say the investigation is ongoing and more arrests and charges are possible.
Anyone with any information about Holmes' whereabouts or any other information related to the theft ring is asked to call the Crime Stoppers Bayou Region at 1-800-743-7433, text "GIVEATIP" and your message to 274637, submit your tips to the TipSubmit Mobile App or online at www.crimestoppersbr.org.