EBRSO: State corrections officer arrested in theft

Authorities in East Baton Rouge and Jefferson parishes Wednesday arrested a state corrections officer and his alleged accomplice in a string of armed robberies dating back almost a year ago, including a May 9 theft in Baton Rouge and two robberies in June.

Woodrow Wilson Martin, 24, 13764 Kenner Ave. Apt. C, Baton Rouge, was booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on counts of armed robbery, simple burglary, malfeasance in office, theft, obstruction of justice and illegal possession of stolen things, prison records show.

Ervin Carter, 39 16819 Bonham Ave., Baton Rouge, was booked on three counts of armed robbery.

Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand, in an email, said his detectives assigned to the U.S. Marshals Task Force were assisted by East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff’s deputies assigned to the task force there.

While attempting to locate Carter, authorities developed Martin as a second suspect. Martin was interviewed and confessed to participating in the June 19 Radio Shack armed robbery at 5257 Veterans Blvd., and the June 24 Radio Shack armed robbery at 1200 Clearview Parkway.

Martin also confessed to participating in a July 2012 armed robbery at Advance Auto Parts at 7150 West Bank Expressway. Martin identified Carter as the second suspect in each of these armed robberies.

Jefferson Parish Detective Paul Smith has obtained arrest warrants for both men in all three cases. Carter is additionally wanted for business armed robberies in Mobile and Lafayette. Warrants throughout the southeastern United States are expected on both Carter and Martin.

Pam Laborde, a spokeswoman for the Louisiana Department of Corrections and Public Safety, said in an email that she could not verify whether Martin worked in a state-run facility as of Wednesday.

Sometime around midnight on May 9, Martin and Carter broke into an Oreck vacuum store at 7677 Andrea Drive, Baton Rouge, according to an affidavit of probable cause. Investigators found more than $500 worth of stolen vacuums and air purifiers at the residences of Martin and Carter, the affidavit says.

Martin’s girlfriend told investigators that he brought home the stolen items around Mother’s Day, saying they were her presents, the affidavit says. Sometime between May 9 and Wednesday, Martin swapped vehicles with Carter and hid him from authorities, the affidavit says. Martin also had his girlfriend give Carter money and a cellphone, the affidavit says.

Martin was being held Wednesday in the Parish Prison on $35,000 bail.