July 21, 2017
Incident Number 1:
On Sunday July 16, 2017 a series of vehicle burglaries occurred in the areas of Derbigny Street, 5th Street and Weyer Street in Gretna. Entry was gained into all vehicles by the suspect opening unlocked car doors. The suspect was able to gain access to seven (7) vehicles in this manner. Various small items such as US Currency in coins, one hand gun and assorted tools were taken from the vehicles.
The Gretna Police Department began an extensive canvass of the area and located various video footage of a possible suspect and the suspect pulling on door handles until locating an unlocked vehicle, then entering. The Gretna Police also recovered property hidden by the suspect behind a closed business. The suspect was viewed on surveillance camera footage carrying a clear disposable bag.
Gretna Officers recognized the bag to be the style bag utilized to hold arrested persons property at the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center. Detectives at this time obtained a list of all persons released from the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center on Sunday, July 16, 2017 in the evening and night hours.
Detectives were able to identify Shantaz Davis, African American Male with a date of birth of August 24, 1996 as the suspect in the surveillance videos making entry into vehicles and removing property.
Davis was released from the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center shortly before 10:00p.m. on July 16, 2017. Shantaz Davis had been arrested earlier in the day on various attachments and charges of simple criminal damage to property. Davis was observed by witnesses after attempting to break into a parked vehicle in Marrero, Louisiana, by breaking a car window. Davis was apprehended by the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Detectives conducted further investigation and were able to connect Davis to all seven (7) car burglaries. Detectives conducted a search warrant at Davis residence, 1038 DiMarco Drive, Marrero, Louisiana where they located the clothing worn by Davis during the commission of the burglaries, as well as a magazine for a firearm which is consistent with the one taken from a vehicle burglarized.
Detectives also located items taken from vehicle burglaries in Marrero, Louisiana which occurred on July 3, 2017 during the nighttime hours.
Davis was not present at the execution of the search warrant, yet turned himself into the Gretna Police Detectives on July 19, 2017. Davis was booked with seven (7) counts simple burglary. The investigation is continuing on locating additional property.
Incident Number 2:
In a separate incident Gretna Police arrested Andrew Babesh, white male with a date of birth of March 24, 1968, of 739 Hancock Street, Apartment C, Gretna Louisiana in connection with simple burglary and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Babesh was spotted by the Gretna Police Department Officers in the early morning hours of July 20, 107 walking Northbound in the 500 Block of Franklin Avenue, Gretna talking on his cell phone. He disappeared in between houses and then reappearing in possession of a black suitcase.
Officer had been deployed in this area conducting pro-active patrols due to a recent series of vehicular and residential burglaries occurring during the night time hours. Officer began to investigate and were advised Babesh found the suitcase on the side of the road and picked it up. Officer continued their investigation and learned Babesh had an extensive arrest record consisting of numerous burglaries which he had been sentenced to twelve (12) years at hard labor on nine (9) counts of simple burglary in 2006.
A search of the suitcase revealed numerous tools consistent with items taken in a series of recent vehicular and residential burglaries in the area. Babesh then stated the tools belonged to his Uncle and had removed the tools from the rear of his Uncle’s truck. Babesh further advised he burglarized his Uncle’s shed and stole other tools to sell them to purchase crack cocaine.
Officer made contact with Babesh’s Uncle who positively identified the tools as coming from his shed and not giving Babesh permission to have them. The victim further wished to pursue criminal charges. Babesh gave a statement and admitted to the burglary on Hancock Street. Officers also found Babesh to be in possession of a large amount of US Currency in coins, which had been consistent with items taken in vehicle burglaries in the area.
Babesh was booked on one (1) count simple burglary and a search warrant was also conducted at Babesh’s residence where additional property was located as well as drug paraphernalia. The other property is being matched back to stolen property in other burglaries.
The Gretna Police Department urges residents to help minimize vehicle burglaries by simply locking their vehicles, not leaving valuables or currency visible within the vehicle and not leaving vehicle ignition keys within the vehicle. Further, store any other items of value within the trunk of the vehicle or inside your residence.
Anthony H. Christiana Jr.
Deputy Chief of Police