Hamburglars sentenced to probation for striking McDonald’s

Published 12:12 am Wednesday, May 3, 2017

LAPLACE — A pair of St. John the Baptist Parish hamburglars pleaded guilty to burglarizing McDonald’s on U.S. 51 in LaPlace, each avoiding future jail time as part of plea agreements, authorities said.

Zechariah David Collins of LaPlace was given a five-year suspended sentence and five years active probation April 17 after pleading guilty to simple burglary and ordered to pay $2,258 in fines, according to the St. John Clerk of Court’s office. He was given credit for 99 days of time served.

On the same day, according to the Clerk’s office, Jamal Edwards, 21, of LaPlace pleaded guilty to principal to simple burglary, receiving a two-year suspended sentence and two years of active probation.

Edwards, 35, was ordered to pay $1,365 in fines and given credit for time served since Nov. 28.

Both men are to stay away from McDonald’s on U.S. 51 in LaPlace, according to Court records.

The St. John Sheriff’s Office previously reported McDonald’s employees noticed their safe burglarized the morning of Nov. 12.

“After reviewing recorded video surveillance from the business, officers identified Collins, a former McDonald’s employee, entering the building with no forced entry and using a security code to get into the safe and take the cash and coins then leaving the building,” Sheriff Mike Tregre said.

Edwards was detained and released that day before being arrested Nov. 28 and booked with principal to simple burglary. Authorities also located Collins Nov. 12 walking east on Woodland Drive in LaPlace, where burglaries had recently occurred, but he fled west on Woodland Drive and escaped, police said.

Collins was arrested Dec. 6 in St. Helena Parish by the U.S. Marshals Task Force and charged with simple burglary-immovable structure and contempt of court.

Authorities said Collins is a former McDonald’s employee.