Deputies make 1 arrest after burglary, still seeking 1 more

Published 10:37 am Thursday, October 13, 2016

A quick response by sheriff’s deputies netted one arrest shortly after a burglary, although another suspect, Rico Dawson of Amite, is still being sought.

Chief Deputy Mike Haley of the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office said that Tuesday, at approximately 11:15 p.m., an alarm at a business in the Richardson area reported a burglary in progress. Thanks to a concerned citizen who gave a detailed description of the suspects’ vehicle, deputies were able to locate the vehicle in the general area and gave chase.

Haley said that deputies pursued the vehicle across the Washington/Tangipahoa Parish line, where it subsequently crashed on Louisiana Highway 445 in the Husser Community.

The driver took flight on foot, but the passenger was apprehended by Washington and Tangipahoa Parish sheriff’s deputies. He was identified as Tommy Burton, a resident of 2nd Avenue in Amite. Haley said that the stolen merchandise was recovered at the crash site and taken into custody as evidence.

Tommy Burton is no stranger to law enforcement, Haley said. He has a lengthy arrest record that includes previous arrests for simple robbery, armed robbery and a narcotic related arrest. Burton was detained by the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office on warrants obtained by our deputies for burglary of a business, criminal damage to property and several traffic related offenses included flight from an officer. He is currently being held in the Tangipahoa Parish Jail, awaiting extradition to Washington Parish.

Haley said that the WPSO’s Criminal Investigative Division identified the driver of the vehicle as Rico Dawson, 26, whose last known address was on Peggly Drive in Amite. A warrant has been issued for Dawson’s arrest for burglary of a business, aggravated flight, criminal damage to property and various other traffic charges. Dawson pleaded guilty to illegal use of a weapon in 2010.

Washington Parish Sheriff Randy Seal said Wednesday’s arrest was an example of law enforcement agencies working together.

“I want to extend our sincere thanks to our friend (Tangipahoa Parish) Sheriff Daniel Edwards and his staff for their cooperation in the apprehension of this criminal. We appreciate the outstanding working relationship we have with Sheriff Edwards and his deputies,” he said. “I also want to thank our criminal patrol deputies for responding quickly to the scene and interrupting the burglary of a local business.

“Our CID detectives were able to identify the driver of the vehicle within hours of the incident and obtain warrants for his arrest. Thieves have no place in our society. Tommy Burton is right where he belongs — in jail. Thieves may cross parish boundaries, but they will not evade justice.

“Pay attention Rico Dawson, because we are looking for you. I suggest you turn yourself in. If you fail to heed this warning, we will catch you and put you in jail where you belong.”