‘Ghost’ arrested for theft, purse-snatching attempt

Published 7:54 am Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Crimes committed in Angie led to an arrest of a Bogalusa resident Thursday.

According to Chief Deputy Mike Haley of the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office, the saga began on Aug. 29, when a female shopper at an Angie store reported to the cashier that a man attempted to snatch her purse while inside the store.

Another shopper overheard the conversation with the cashier and, concerned about the victim’s safety, escorted her to her vehicle which was in the store parking lot. While in the parking lot, both the victim and her security escort noticed the attempted purse-snatcher quickly exit the store with a shopping buggy full of merchandise. Later, sheriff’s deputies discovered the merchandise was allegedly stolen. The man then got into a vehicle being driven by a female and both exited the store parking lot and went south.

The man who provided the security escort to the victim, followed that vehicle and obtained the vehicle’s license number. The vehicle was registered to a Bogalusa female. When the owner of the car was located by a sheriff’s office detective, she stated she was unaware that the man had stolen the merchandise. She stated that he came out of the store with merchandise, asked her for a ride to Bogalusa, and she complied. She wrongly assumed that he had paid for the merchandise in the buggy. The investigation determined that the woman was truthful in her statement to the detective.

The owner of the vehicle did not know the name of the man to whom she had given a ride and could identify him only as “Ghost” who resided with his mother. A Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office detective relied on eyewitnesses and store surveillance video to identify the alleged thief as Thomas Washington, 49, a resident of East 4th Street in Bogalusa. Washington was located, arrested and transported to the Washington Parish Jail, charged with attempted purse snatching and theft of goods. He remains in jail with bond set at $12,500.

“Our responding patrol deputy and the detective who followed up with the investigation did a great job of coordinating their efforts to identify and apprehend Mr. Washington,” Sheriff Randy Seal said. “Washington is well known to the sheriff’s office, having been booked into our jail a total of nine times since 2008. I am pleased that this career criminal is off the street once again and occupying a spot in our jail.”

Washington has a long criminal history in Washington Parish. His first jail booking in 2008 included charges of aggravated kidnapping and aggravated rape. Other bookings since 2011 include charges of theft, possession of drug paraphernalia and a 2015 charge of battery on a police officer.