by Kimberly vetter
Advocate staff writer
September 04, 2012
At least 16 people were arrested on violation of a parishwide curfew that went into effect from 6 p.m. Wednesday to 6 a.m. Thursday, and six others were arrested and accused of looting during Hurricane Isaac, East Baton Rouge Parish Prison records show.
Five people were arrested overnight and accused of looting a neighborhood grocery store on Van Gogh Avenue, police spokesman Cpl. L’Jean McKneely said.
The three women and two men broke into the store at 6979 Van Gogh just after 11 p.m. and stole alcohol, cigarettes and food, McKneely said.
Percy Maloid, 17, 1804 N. Harco Drive; Brandon Smith, 27, 1084 Monet Drive; Ashley Landry, 22, 662 N. Donmoor Ave.; Niyjia Powell, 17, 662 N. Donmoor Ave.; and Rocquel Morgan, 26, 7302 Town South Ave., were booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on a count of looting.
In a separate incident, Glynn McCray, 20, 6281 Blue Grass Drive, was booked on a count of looting for allegedly breaking into a house down the street from his own home, an affidavit of probable cause says. McCray stole two televisions from his neighbor’s residence.
Authorities have said they used the looting count in arresting people Wednesday and Thursday for break-ins and similar crimes because the parish was in a state of emergency. However, police noted that such incidents were not widespread.
“For the most part, people did what they were told, but for the ones who didn’t, we did what we had to do to make them comply,” Baker Police Chief Mike Knaps said.
Safety is still paramount for parish residents even though the most severe part of the storm has passed through the area, Knaps said, urging people to continue to stay off the streets if possible.
“It’s still very dangerous outside,” Knaps said Thursday. “We are nowhere near out of the woods yet.”
The wetter the ground gets, he said, the easier it is for trees and power lines to topple over.
Baker police officers surveying the city early Thursday found 30 homes with trees on them, Knaps added.
“I don’t think people understand the depth of the safety issues we are still dealing with,” he said.
East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Kip Holden did not implement a curfew for the parish for late Thursday and early Friday but warned people to still be watchful of crews out working on downed power lines and debris in roadways.
East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff Sid Gautreaux voiced a similar warning.
“We still have power outages, downed trees and power lines and water throughout the parish,” Gautreaux said. “I’d caution the public to continue to take precautions when out and about, and to stay off the roads when possible.”