Police searching N.O. marsh for suspect in Slidell theft

Slidell and New Orleans police, along with officers from other local and federal agencies, were combing the marsh in New Orleans East on Thursday night for a suspect who fled from a red Mustang that crashed after a chase across the Interstate 10 twin spans.

The chase began when Slidell police responded to a report of shoplifting at a T-Mobile store in Slidell, Detective Daniel Seuzeneau of the Slidell Police Department said in news release.

Two men were attempting to steal thousands of dollars worth of iPhones, Seuzeneau said, and officers who arrived at the scene saw two suspects who fit the description get into a red Ford Mustang.

When the suspects spotted police, they fled and got onto I-10. Police who were following the vehicle discovered it was stolen and gave chase. As police pursued them, the suspects threw weapons out of the windows and into Lake Pontchartrain, Seuzeneau said.

The suspects crashed the car in New Orleans East after exiting the bridge, and police caught one suspect. The other fled into the marsh.

Police recovered a stolen firearm and stolen property from inside the vehicle.

The suspect who escaped is believed to be in the marsh.

Slidell and New Orleans police are being helped in the search by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force and the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office.

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has provided airboats and the Sheriff’s Office is using its helicopter in the manhunt, Seuzeneau said.

The suspects are facing several charges which include felony theft, aggravated flight from an officer, possession of a stolen vehicle and possession of a stolen firearm, he said.