New lead surfaces in Livingston sheriff’s pickup theft case

East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff’s deputies have identified a truck that may be connected to the theft of Livingston Parish Sheriff Jason Ard’s truck Aug. 30, authorities said Thursday.

Deputies have obtained surveillance photos of a mid-1990s Ford F-150 pickup believed to be connected to the case, said Casey Rayborn Hicks, an East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman.

The truck being sought by authorities has an extra cab — a type of extended cab — and appears to have been painted a shade of light blue over dark blue, Hicks said in a news release.

The truck has a chrome-colored truck box in its bed, and the front tire rims appear to be different from the rear rims, Hicks said.

The person photographed inside the truck appears to be a heavyset man wearing a white shirt.

The blue truck was seen at a Circle K gas station at Evangeline Street and North Foster Drive, where the driver allegedly tried to use a card stolen from Ard’s truck to buy gas, Hicks said.

Ard’s 2011 white Ford F-250 pickup was stolen from Ruffino’s restaurant on Highland Road sometime between 7:49 p.m. and 9:40 p.m., Hicks has said.

Deputies found Ard’s truck around 11:30 p.m. parked in a lot on Barringer Court.

Ard’s service handgun and a purse containing a wallet with credit cards were missing from the truck when it was recovered.

The gun has not been recovered, Hicks said Thursday.

Ard has said he was dining with his family inside Ruffino’s when someone broke into his truck using a keypad system on one of the vehicle’s doors. He said he left behind a key in the pickup because of the keypad entry system.

Deputies initially were looking for a man dressed as a woman who allegedly attempted to use a debit card stolen from the vehicle at a convenience store on Evangeline Street.

Deputies later found the man and cleared him in the case, Hicks has said.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office at (225) 389-5000 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at (225) 344-7867 (STOP).