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Investigative Unit: Parish worker caught stealing from store wearing parish uniform

11 months 3 weeks 5 days ago December 08, 2015 Dec 8, 2015 Tuesday, December 08 2015 December 08, 2015 7:47 AM in News
Source: WBRZ

NEW ROADS- A parish employee is in hot water tonight, after he was caught on surveillance video stealing from a local business. That video was obtained by the Investigative Unit Monday.

The employee in question, Harold Ennis works for the Recreation Department. When parish workers found out that he was caught stealing, he was suspended for three days. Ennis was not arrested, because the owner of the store chose not to press charges since it's the Christmas season.

Tonight, some elected officials want even more disciplinary action. They believe Ennis should be terminated.

The video we obtained clearly shows Ennis at the A&W Outdoor Store in New Roads. While there, he snags a Yeti Colster Cup, slips it under his clothes and tries to play it cool. Each cup costs $30. We caught up with Ennis at work today.

"They made a big issue out of this," Ennis said. "I was going to give them to my employees because my employees never get anything you know what I'm saying. It was going to be gifts that we get from time to time."

The Yeti Cups are hot right now according to the owner who says he's having trouble keeping them in stock. When he conducted an inventory two weeks ago, he was shocked to see the parish employee he trusted stealing from him, two days in a row.

"I didn't think it was going to be like that, like it was," Ennis said.

When asked if he thought he could take things without paying for them, Ennis said, "No I didn't think I could take gifts and not pay for them. I just thought maybe I could take them if they were gifts."

The owner of the business told the Investigative Unit, Ennis was at the business to drop off a pressure washer to get worked on. The A&W Store has contracts to routinely work on parish equipment.

Some elected leaders told WBRZ, they are not satisfied with the three day suspension Ennis received. Thath's why this topic is a hot button issue, and they will be discussing it to impose further consequences.

Our check of Harold Ennis's criminal history is disturbing. He has ten felony convictions dating back to 1967.

February 1967 - simple burglary
May 1969 - simple burglary
June 1969 - simple burglary
January 1977 - simple burglary
August 1987 - simple burglary
January 2004 - theft over $500
January 2004 - theft over $500
January 2004 -  simple burglary
January 2004 -  illegal possession of stolen things
January 2004 illegal possession of stolen things

In 2011, Ennis completed his probation. With that lengthy record, questions remain if a background check was ever conducted on him when he began working for the parish.

"Was I greedy, yes," Ennis said. "I was greedy. I should have just took one. I took more. I took two. I shouldn't have took two."

We asked whether Ennis was upset that he got caught.

"I'm sorry about the whole incident," Ennis said.

The Police Jury is scheduled to meet about this issue tomorrow. We're told it will come up in the personnel portion of the meeting, and jurors could meet in executive session to determine if he'll be terminated.

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