Accused Tanger shoplifters apprehended in St. John Parish

Wade McIntyre

Gonzales police on Jan. 2 chased two shoplifting suspects on Interstate 10 from Tanger Mall to St. John Parish where authorities waited with stop sticks and blew out two tires in the escape vehicle.

Police Chief Sherman Jackson said Monday morning that the shoplifting spree began at the Mall of Louisiana in Baton Rouge, where the pair avoided detection, and moved to two stores in Tanger Mall.

After being alerted by Tanger store personnel, Gonzales officers arrived in time to see the man and woman speeding away from the Kenneth Cole store in a car. Jackson said the pair earlier were seen filling up “big bags” with clothing at the Osh Kosh B’Gosh store.

Police gave pursuit eastbound on I-10 toward New Orleans, witnessing the suspects throw clothing from the vehicle as they fled Tanger, Jackson said.

At one point officers saw what appeared to be a chrome gun thrown from the car, though no weapon has been recovered, according to the chief.

Arrested and charged with theft by shoplifting of over $300 were Quintella Harris, 27, of 824 Oretha Haley St., New Orleans, and Jerome Hampton, 24, of 3309 Erato St., New Orleans.

Harris, the driver of the vehicle, was additionally charged with aggravated flight from an officer, obstruction of justice/destruction of evidence, possession of stolen property, monetary instrument abuse and driving under suspended license.

Hampton was also charged with obstruction of justice.

Officers recovered clothes in the car taken from Tanger valued at $478, and clothing valued at about $400 that was taken from the Mall of America, Jackson said.

The suspects were apprehended at mile marker 206 in St. John Parish.