New Orleans — Police have arrested two more men in connection with a string of business burglaries in eastern New Orleans after they found a video of the burglaries at one of their homes.
Kerry Pierre, 21, and Kwame Fleming, 22, were both booked with two counts of unauthorized entry of a building Thursday. Police previously booked Michael Reed, 21, with two counts of simple burglary in connection with the same burglaries.
Police said Pierre and Fleming were part of an operation that broke into eastern New Orleans convenience stores by cracking their walls using a sledgehammer. The men would steal wireless phones, cigarettes and liquor, according to court records.
Reed, who lives in Algiers, was visiting Pierre one day since the two men had been friends since elementary school. He noticed Pierre’s collection of cigarettes, phones and cash and asked about getting involved in the scheme. Pierre agreed to let him participate, and Fleming served as the getaway driver Nov. 14, court records say.
Police said the group broke into two stores that night. At the first store, an alarm went off, which spooked Reed and he ran. Pierre would later tell him that they didn’t run at the alarms, Reed told police. Police did investigate that first burglary, and then they drove to several other stores because of the string of similar burglaries.
That’s when police spotted a red truck parked in front of another business on Haynes Boulevard.
Police investigated the truck and interrupted several burglars as they were just breaking through a side wall. A shovel and sledgehammer were recovered at that scene.
According to court records, police actually were able to capture Reed because he flagged them down. Reed tried to convince an officer that he’d been an innocent bystander when three other armed men fled the area. However, police quickly saw through the ruse. Reed would later lead police back to the red truck, which had been stolen from Jefferson Parish.
Reed was arrested, and once in custody, he began telling police about the scheme, according to court records. He said he became confused during the burglaries because he wasn’t from the area.
When police later questioned Pierre and Flemming, they gave conflicting accounts of their whereabouts the night of the burglaries. However, they told police that Reed approached them about committing some burglaries and they declined. However, after searching Pierre’s home, police found several of the items reported stolen.
They also found a cellphone with a video of both Pierre and Fleming at a burglary, police said. Both men were arrested without incident.