SLIDELL- Thursday morning, Police were still working with residents to recover stolen items from a string of car burglaries from this past weekend.
"Found a guy's wallet outside of my driveway,” said resident Tony Dozier, “Found a name, no phone number. Looked in the phone book, called him. Turns out he lives in the neighborhood behind me. Came over and got his wallet, told me what had happened to him."
Authorities say at least 15 vehicles were broken into in two neighborhoods in the Slidell area; 98 percent of them were unlocked. Electronics, phones, purses and weapons were taken. A doctor's office on Brownswitch Road was also targeted. The break in the case came from social media, on Slidell Police's Facebook page, where citizens helped identify the two suspects.
Home surveillance video posted by police turned out tips left in the comments section and sent to Crimestoppers, which led to the arrest of 24-year-old Jackson Fowler and 26-year-old Brandon Douglas. The public feedback also helped the sheriff's office tie its burglary cases to the pair because of the black Lexus seen in the areas the crimes were committed. Police say the car belongs to one of the suspects.
St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Brian Trainor said, "That's what makes law enforcement so successful in this parish is the fact that you've got citizens willing to answer that call, turn over people, make phone calls, get involved."
"It's all about working together and getting the community involved,” said Slidell Police Chief Randy Smith, “And they do care and I think that's what makes the difference."
Police hope the case sends a message to criminals to stay away and to residents to stay vigilant.
Authorities say one of the guns stolen was traded for drugs, which led them to a separate investigation that turned up $15,000 in marijuana and crystal meth. That investigation is still developing.