NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Anonymous tips to Crimestoppers led to the discovery of several stolen vehicles being found at an abandoned apartment complex in Algiers.

According to the Louisiana State Police, investigations began after the information from October, led detectives to eight stolen vehicles and people living in the building without permission.

Further investigation revealed 40-year-old David Darby of Texas was the person responsible. On Tuesday (Nov. 22) Darby was seen driving in the apartment complex with 41-year-old Haley Smith of New Orleans.

Detectives pulled the vehicle over and during the stop, they noticed damage to the steering column. Officers confirmed the vehicle and a semi-automatic handgun with an obliterated serial number were both stolen.

Detectives continued investigating and discovered eight more reportedly stolen vehicles and two travel homes at the same apartment. A search warrant was issued and detectives found:

  • Two rifles
  • One 9mm handgun with extended magazine (later discovered to be stolen)
  • Additional stolen property which belonged to the owner of one of the travel trailers

Detectives are actively searching for a stolen restored classic 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle and a fully enclosed trailer, linked to Darby, that was last known to be in the area of Arts Street and Piety Street in New Orleans.

David Darby has since been arrested on charges of:

  • Theft of a Motor Vehicle (2 counts),
  • Possession of Stolen Property valued at $25,000 or more (2 counts),
  • Possession of Stolen Property valued between $5,000 and $25,000 (2 counts),
  • Possession of Firearm with Obliterated Serial Number. 

Smith is also facing charges of:

  • Possession of Stolen Property valued between $5,000 and $25,000 (2 counts),
  • Possession of Firearm with Obliterated Serial Number,
  • Possession of Stolen Property valued less than $1,000. 

The two have been booked into the Orleans Parish Jail with additional charges possible.

Anyone with information related to this investigation is asked to contact the LSP Insurance Fraud and Auto Theft Division at: lsp.insurance.fraud.unit@la.gov.

Stay updated with the latest news, weather, and sports by downloading the WGNO app on the Apple or Google Play store and subscribing to the WGNO newsletter.