PLAQUEMINES PARISH, LA — Six Port Sulphur men have been arrested on charges of burglarizing the St. Jude Catholic Church. Of these suspects, one was additionally charged with obstruction of justice and two were booked with burglary of a Grand Bayou fishing camp, as well as one is suspected of Happy Jack camp thefts. Further, two suspects remain wanted in the church burglary.
From July 25 - August 1, camp owners from the Happy Jack and Grand Bayou areas in Port Sulphur reported items missing from their fishing camps, which were stolen during thefts and a burglary. The owners reported that $1,000 worth of fishing rods and reels and a tackle box were stolen. The PPSO Marine Division recovered evidence from the Grand Bayou crime scene.
On Wednesday, August 14, PPSO deputies discovered that the former St. Jude Catholic Church in the Diamond community of Port Sulphur was burglarized, in which three window air conditioner (AC) units were stolen.
On Wednesday, August 28, PPSO detectives and District 2 patrol deputies arrived at a residence in the 24000 block of Diamond Road in Port Sulphur in an attempt to locate two possible suspects for the fishing camp incidents. Upon speaking with a resident, it was learned that the suspects were not at the location. However, while there, investigators noticed two window AC units installed in the residence that were unusually large for the home, which was a double-wide trailer. The investigators recalled the St. Jude Church burglary and decided to look into the matter further.
While deputies canvassed the immediate area for the suspects, a subject believed to be one of the perpetrators, Tommie Lee Leonard, Jr., 25, fled on foot but was apprehended a short distance away. The other possible suspect, Darryl D. Ancar, Jr., 26, was located nearby. Both subjects were transported to the PPSO Port Sulphur Complex for further investigation.
Upon conducting a consent search of the residence, with the assistance of the PPSO Marine Division, it was confirmed that the two AC units were stolen from the St. Jude Church. The two units were seized as evidence.
As a result of the investigation, detectives learned that an individual identified as Tyler Jacob Sylve, 22, allegedly organized a group, to include himself, Darryl D. Ancar, Jr., Tommie Lee Leonard, Jr., Darrell Steven Sylve, Jr., 29, Emmett P. Barthelemy, 23, Gerald Joseph Barthelemy, Sr., 35, Owen James Barthelemy, 32, and Anthony J. Lafrance, Jr., 28, to steal the AC units from the St. Jude Church.
The subjects allegedly broke a window with a rock to gain access inside. Detectives also learned that one of the three stolen AC units was sold to a Port Sulphur resident for $100. The resident was unaware that the unit was stolen and investigators were successful in recovering it.
Furthermore, the PPSO determined that Darryl D. Ancar, Jr., and Tommie Lee Leonard, Jr., allegedly burglarized a Grand Bayou camp on August 1. Investigators seized a pirogue that was utilized as the mode of transportation in that burglary. Ancar is also believed to have committed thefts from camps in the 300 – 500 block of Martin Lane close to the same time.
Darryl D. Ancar, Jr., and Tommie Lee Leonard, Jr., were each charged with Simple Burglary for the Grand Bayou camp break-in, as well as Simple Burglary of a Religious Building.
Tyler Jacob Sylve, Darrell Steven Sylve, Jr., Emmett P. Barthelemy, and Owen James Barthelemy have all been arrested and booked with Simple Burglary of a Religious Building. Tyler Sylve was also charged with Obstruction of Justice for attempting to hide stolen property/evidence from investigators.
Gerald Joseph Barthelemy, Sr. turned himself into authorities earlier this afternoon.
The PPSO currently has arrest warrants for Anthony J. Lafrance, Jr., for the crime of Simple Burglary of a Religious Building.
Detectives are in the process of identifying recovered property from the Martin Lane thefts and arrests in those investigations are imminent.
All subjects remain in the custody of the Sheriff’s Office in lieu of the following bonds: Darryl Ancar - $50,000 with a probation hold; Tommie Leonard - $50,000; Tyler Sylve - $35,000; Darrell Sylve - $30,000; Emmett Barthelemy - $15,000; and Owen Barthelemy - $33,000.
Anyone having additional information on these crimes or the whereabouts of Anthony J. Lafrance, Jr., is asked to contact Detective Sean Burbano or Sergeant Sidney Smith at 504-564-2525 or Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111. Callers can remain anonymous are may be eligible for a cash reward.