Paperbox bandit hits final edition

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 18, 2005


Staff Reporter

LAPLACE — Early Monday morning, Officer Ronald Sebelski and Officer Samantha Wilson found 25-year-old Damien Simoneaux, who admitted to stealing newspaper vending boxes.

After a period of about two weeks, area business in Reserve and LaPlace have noticed their newspaper vending boxes had been missing.

“A video surveillance tape was obtained from an area business” said Maj. Mike Tregre of the St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office. “We wanted to look for the type of vehicle that was caught on tape.”

According to Tregre around 3:45 a.m. Sebelski and Wilson observed a 1991 white Ford F-150 King-Cab pick-up truck coming from an area business (the name could not be released at this time).

The two officers made a traffic stop and spoke with Simoneaux, whose story did not add up and later found the newspaper boxes that had been pushed into the canal off of Northwest Fourth Street in Reserve, said Tregre.

“Damien gave a confession,” said Tregre. “He said he’s been doing this since May 2.”

Tregre said Simoneaux

admitted to stealing newspaper boxes from the Reserve Post Office, SuperFoods Grocery in LaPlace, Greg’s Supermarket in Reserve, The Donut Hole in LaPlace, Spurs Gas Station in LaPlace, Post Office and Cafe in Garyville, gas stations and area businesses in Pontchatoula and two from L’Observateur that were dumped into the water around the Ruddock exit on Interstate 55.

Simoneaux was arrested and charged with theft of $500 or more. He was taken into custody at the Sherman Walker Correctional Center on a $5,000 bond.

He was released later Monday, after posting bond.