Off-duty deputy busts burglary in-process, three arrested

Friday, November 30, 2012 - 6:00pm

An off-duty deputy with the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office is credited with landing three burglars behind bars.

The incident happened on November 28. We’re told Deputy David Johnson was returning home when he observed a suspicious female fleeing from a residence located on Lockhart Road in Denham Springs.

Deputy Johnson saw the female talking on a cell phone and carrying items, which suggested to the experienced Deputy that some type of theft or burglary had been committed. He then witnessed a suspect vehicle flee the scene.

Deputy Johnson pursued the female, later identified as Melissa Howze, 29, of Pine Grove, La., and apprehended her with numerous stolen items.

Members of the LPSO Burglary Division were contacted and continued to investigate.

Upon discovering more details, Detectives arrested Travis McCray, 32, of South Pine, La., and Samantha Smart, 25, of Walker, La., for their involvement in the burglary.

Numerous stolen items were recovered and returned to the victims.

Howze was arrested and charged with Simple Burglary of an Inhabited Dwelling. Her bond was set at $25,000.

McCray was arrested and charged with Misdemeanor Theft by Frauc and Creation/Operation of a Clandestine Lab. His bond was set at $130,500.

Smart was arrested and charged with Simple Burglary of an Inhabited Dwelling (2 counts), Creation/Operation of a Clandestine Lab. Her bond was set at $130,000.

At this time, the investigation is still ongoing.

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