Sheriff’s Office shows wrong person in surveillance tape

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 18, 2008


Staff Reporter

LAPLACE – St. John authorities have admitted a mistake in the investigation into a woman who allegedly used a bankcard stolen from the nurses’ station at River Parishes Hospital to make purchases at area retail stores.

Maj. Mike Tregre, public information officer for the St. John Sheriff’s Office, provided L’Observateur with surveillance photos from security cameras at the CVS Pharmacy in LaPlace that show a female suspect who allegedly used the stolen card to make purchases at the store on June 13. He said detectives used evidence provided from the victim in the case, a 35-year-old nurse who reported her wallet stolen earlier that day.

According to Tregre, the victim told investigators that her bank statement showed that a purchase was made with her card at the pharmacy around 4:50 p.m. on the day her card was stolen. He said when detectives researched the surveillance tapes at the store they concluded that the woman in the photo was the prime suspect.

However, the woman in the photo, upon seeing the story in last Saturday’s newspaper, contacted the sheriff’s office in an attempt to clear her identity. Tregre said further investigation

into the incident proved that an inaccurate time stamp on the CVS camera photo pinpointed the wrong suspect. He said the female in the picture has been cleared of any wrongdoing.

Tregre said investigators have been able to identify the person who actually committed the crime, and an arrest warrant will be issued for her arrest in the coming days.