Two suspects in custody after stealing $40k worth of tequila from 18-wheeler

Crime

LAPLACE, La. (BRPROUD) — Two individuals were arrested by deputies after stealing several boxes of tequila worth an estimated $40,000.

St. John the Baptist Sheriff’s Office said the suspects, James Lester Watson, 52, of LaPlace and Kristi Marie Rizzo, 40, of Garyville stole items from 18-wheelers parked at a local hotel on Monday and Tuesday. In the first instance, boxes of tequila were stolen from an 18-wheeler on June 28. The second time, automotive batteries were taken from another 18-wheeler.

Authorities said they located the suspects at the same hotel where the burglaries occurred.

Watson and Rizzo were arrested and face theft and burglary charges. Rizzo faces additional charges including possession of marijuana and cruelty to animals for leaving her dog in the heat without food or water.

The stolen tequila and automotive batteries were found by authorities through search warrants.

Watson’s bond is set at $41,500 and Rizzo’s bond is set at $44,500.

Authorities said the investigation is ongoing and additional charges are possible for both suspects.

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