Louisiana Officials Warn of Goods Stolen from Storage Units, Sheds

February 22, 2019

Authorities are telling residents in one part of Louisiana to check sheds, patios and self-storage units to see whether anything’s missing, even a kitchen sink. They’re also telling self-storage business owners to check for signs of tampering, and for locked but unleased units.

Any missing goods might be among hundreds of stolen items found recently, most of them in supposedly vacant but locked storage units in south Lafourche Parish, Lt. Brennan Matherne, a sheriff’s department spokesman, said in an email to The Associated Press. All told, investigators say, they are worth tens of thousands of dollars.

“It appears he stole anything that appeared to be of value,” Matherne wrote. “Some of the more unusual items include a winter coverall suit commonly used by offshore workers, a stamp collection, an inflatable hot tub, a reel-to-reel player, a 45 record player with records, a bone growth stimulator machine, and two kitchen sinks. The most expensive items would likely be a boat trailer and some welding machines.”

Deputies want to return them all to their owners.

Sidney Richard Sr., 49, also known as Sidney Ricard, is accused of stealing it all.

Richard, of Cut Off — about 30 miles south of New Orleans — had been arrested in December on two counts of possessing stolen goods after detectives found a vehicle holding stolen property at a motel in Golden Meadow, about 12 miles (20 km) south-southeast of Cut Off.

Richard was released on bond but was re-arrested Feb. 14 and his bond raised to $65,000 after more caches were found, according to a sheriff’s office news release.

Matherne said he did not know whether Richard has an attorney who could speak for him.

He was using an alias to market the goods via social media, according to the news release.

“Many of the items appear to have been stolen from residential sheds and self-storage facilities,” the statement said. “Some of the items appear to have been stolen from shipyards or other industrial or construction sites. The items recovered include industrial items, welding equipment, generators, golf clubs, power tools, shop vacuums, and various electronics to name a few.”

Police are not releasing the alias or asking people who bought something from Richard to come forward, but are trying to trace buyers, Matherne said.

“We are reaching out directly to self-storage owners to have them check their units and report any tampering, or any units being used that haven’t been leased,” he wrote. “We are also encouraging those owners with the means to provide their own locks for their storage facilities.”

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