Stolen fireworks recovered, men behind theft arrested
SLIDELL - Sheriff's deputies in St. Tammany Parish said they arrested two men accused of stealing nearly 20 cases of commercial-grade fireworks on the morning of New Year's Eve.
According to investigators, the cases containing nearly 300 fireworks shells and fuses were taken sometime between Dec. 23 and Dec. 29. from the back of a locked box truck parked within gated property off Browns Village Road in Slidell. The stolen fireworks were valued at between $8,000 and $10,000 and were destined to be used for a New Year's Eve fireworks show in Bossier City.
Deputies located and arrested Marcus Stewart, 18, and Donald Armlin Jr., 30, in the early morning hours of Dec. 31 following an investigation into the whereabouts of the missing fireworks. Stewart admitted to detectives that after he stole the items, he sold some of the fireworks and had ignited some of them himself.
Armlin admitted to authorities that he functioned as a "look-out" during the theft, assisted in unloading the plundered pyrotechnics, kept stolen fireworks following the burglary and disposed of some of the evidence by lighting the fireworks.
Marcus Stewart was booked on charges of illegal possession of stolen things, simple burglary and obstruction of justice. Armlin was charged with simple burglary and obstruction of justice.
While law enforcement was able to recover and return a quantity of the stolen fireworks to their rightful owner, it is believed that some of the explosive may still be in the possession of individuals in the community. Deputies stressed that professional, commercial-grade fireworks can be very dangerous, and they encouraged anyone who may have purchased the fireworks to contact Lt. Mike Dauth at (985) 726-7823 so that they may be safely disposed.