Father, son charged with theft from Entergy

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 2, 1999

ERIK SANZENBACH / L’Observateur / November 2, 1999

LAPLACE – The St. John Sheriff’s Office, in cooperation with the EntergyCorp., have arrested a father and son who were stealing copper wire fromthe Entergy office at 4317 W. Airline Highway in Reserve.Kenneth P. Alphonse Sr., 44, 1715 Creole St., LaPlace, and his 15-year-oldson were both arrested Saturday night and charged with theft, burglary, criminal trespassing and resisting arrest. Alphonse Sr., is still in the St.John Parish Jail under a $24,500 bond set by Judge Sterling Snowdy.

Captain Mike Tregre of the St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office said Entergyofficials contacted the police after their surveillance cameras video taped two masked people breaking into their work yard and stealing reels of cable off maintenance trucks.

“The thieves melt the insulation off the wire and then sell the copper to scrap yards,” explained Tregre.

The Sheriff’s Office set up its own surveillance after being alerted by Entergy, and Saturday night they noticed two men coming onto the Entergy property from under the fence. Both suspects were wearing gloves and skimasks and proceeded to check out all the trucks for copper wire.

The police then came out of hiding and identified themselves, and both men started to flee. Deputies managed to grab the 15-year-old while theother suspect ran off into the surrounding sugar cane field.

Police discovered a .22 caliber pistol on the youth. “The son said the father had given him the gun,” said Tregre.

The youth told the police his father was his partner and gave the address in LaPlace.

When police arrived at the house the father was just coming home in the pickup used in the burglary.

“They had it all planned out,” said Tregre. “They had a dolly to carry thewire reels to the truck that was hidden in the cane field.”At first the father, who was only dressed in blue jeans, denied knowing anything about the thefts or his son’s involvement. However, at daylight,deputies searched the cane field and discovered the father’s ski-mask and a .38 caliber pistol that belonged to Alphonse, and he was arrested.”The father told us that the reason they had guns was in case they ran into vicious dogs,” Tregre said.

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