Suspects accused of stealing from volunteers at flood victim shelter

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DENHAM SPRINGS, LA (WGNO) — Livingston Parish deputies say they arrested two people who stole from volunteers at a church that was serving as a shelter for flood victims.

Deputies say it happened on September 11 at the Christ Community Church on Juban Road in Denham Springs.  In a written news release announcing the arrests, Sheriff Jason Ard describes what his deputies discovered.

“This location was being used as a shelter for displaced flood victims and a distribution center at the time of the incident.  2 people tried to take advantage of the kindness of those volunteering in that shelter.  This duo created a ruse to distract those working the shelter.  They told volunteers that someone had fallen ill & needed immediate attention in another part of the facility.  That was a lie.  While volunteers attempted to attend to a sick individual, the pair stole 2 purses. Through investigation, LPSO detectives were able to recover the stolen purses and the contents inside.”

Two suspects were arrested.  They’re identified as 33-year-old Leslie L. Burch of Roseland and 26-year-old Robert K. Johnson of Pine Grove.

Both were booked with possession of stolen things and possession of marijuana.  Burch faces an additional charge of theft of a firearm.  Johnson was also booked with driving under suspension.  At last word, both were behind bars on $7,500 bond.

The department’s statement did not say if Burch was accused of stealing a gun that was on church premises.