Crack-addicted Uber driver arrested for string of gas station robberies

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METAIRIE (WGNO) – An Uber driver connected to a string of robberies has confessed to ripping off gas stations to support his crack cocaine habit.

The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office arrested 45-year-old James Ziegler of Kenner this week for grabbing cash from the registers at a series of convenience stores.

Just after 5 a.m. on January 5, Ziegler was recorded on surveillance video robbing the Brother’s Food Market at 6600 Veterans Boulevard in Metairie, according to the JPSO.

A worker followed Ziegler outside and watched him climb into a silver Toyota to make his escape. Investigators later determined that the vehicle was licensed to Enterprise Rent-A-Car, where Ziegler was registered as an Uber driver.

Ziegler is also suspected of robbing an Exxon Circle K at 704 Howard Avenue hours before his Metairie heist. He is also the main suspect in the robbery of the Discount Stop on North Arnoult Road in Metairie on January 4, according to the JPSO.

Detectives found Ziegler’s DNA on the cash register at Brother’s, a sample he left behind while grabbing an undisclosed amount of cash. The same Enterprise-registered Toyota was used at both robberies, where he was recorded committing the robberies while not wearing a mask or other type of face covering.

Ziegler told the JPSO that he committed the robberies to support his crack cocaine habit.

He has an extensive criminal history filled with armed robbery, first degree robbery, simple robbery, purse snatching, simple burglary, aggravated criminal damage, theft and DUI . Ziegler was convicted of first degree robbery, purse snatching, simple robbery and simple burglary and was released from the Louisiana Department of Corrections on November 3, 2016, according to the JPSO.