Four arrested in fish house sign caper
BATON ROUGE - Deputies recovered an antique sign stolen from an Ascension Parish fish house two months ago and accused four people of taking it or trying to get rid of it.
The sheriff's office charged 35-year-old Chad Prejean, 36-year-old Leah Arnold, 30-year-old Jennifer Bennett, and 39-year-old Michael Wilkinson in connection with the theft of the sign from Tommy's Fish House.
Investigators said the sign was reported missing from the restaurant on Nov. 16, and surveillance cameras recorded video of a man in a pickup taking it. Deputies identified the man as Prejean and arrested him on Dec. 11, saying he told them he sold the sign to Wilkinson.
Deputies said Wilkinson admitted to having the sign and told them he'd bring it in on Dec. 22. Detectives said he never did, and they later learned he gave it to Bennett and Arnold to have them return the sign to APSO. Investigators said Bennett admitted she and Arnold took the sign with them to Livingston Parish, but they still could not locate the sign.
Deputies said Wilkinson was finally located on Jan. 17 and arrested at his home. Detectives said several leads also sent them to investigate a landfill on Joor Road in Baton Rouge, where it was eventually recovered on on Tuesday, Jan. 26. Detectives then returned the sign to the fish house.
Prejean was charged with felony theft and released on a $5,000 bond. Arnold was also charged with felony theft and released after posting a $10,000 bond. Bennett was charged with felony possession of stolen property and released on a $5,000 bond. Wilkinson was accused of felony possession of stolen property, failure to appear in court, and being a fugitive out of Washington Parish for non-support. He was released on a $2,500 bond.