Pharmacy burglarized, teens arrested

Published 2:06 pm Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Two teenagers from Slidell were recently arrested in connection with a burglary in Washington Parish, according to Chief Deputy Mike Haley of the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office.

On Friday evening, a burglar alarm at a pharmacy in Mt. Hermon alerted the WPSO of a possible burglary in progress. Haley said that when patrol deputies and detectives arrived at the scene, they discovered that forced entry had been made into the building through a rear window and a concerned neighbor reported seeing someone climb out of that window. Officers entered the pharmacy and discovered a logo designer cap on the floor. Haley said the officers later discovered that the cap belonged to one of the alleged burglars, a 16-year-old Slidell resident.

Nearby on Highway 38, officers noticed young people in a vehicle that was obviously having mechanical problems, Haley said.

Haley said that eyewitness accounts and evidence collected at the crime scene led to the identification of a 16-year-old male in the vehicle as the person who had entered the pharmacy. He was arrested and later transported to the Florida Parishes Detention Center. His name is being withheld due to his juvenile status.

While officers were still at the scene, an additional eyewitness came forward and reported that another young man was concealing an item that was believed to be a pistol, Haley said. Deputies located the pistol and discovered that the serial number had been filed off.

The young man in possession of the pistol was determined to be Kody Allen Singletary, 17, a resident of South Wood Drive in Slidell, Haley said. Singletary was arrested and transported to the Washington Parish Jail and charged with possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number. He was released Monday after posting a $5,000 bond.

In June 2016, Gov. John Bel Edwards signed a new law that changes the age at which a person will be considered an adult in the criminal justice system. While the current age is 17, that will change to 18 in coming years. As of July 2018, 17-year-olds charged with nonviolent offenses will be included in the juvenile justice system. As of July 2020, 17-year-olds charged with any offense will be included in the juvenile justice system.

Washington Parish Sheriff Randy Seal commented on the arrests.

“What a tragedy that these young men are already involved in criminal activity,” he said. “I certainly hope and pray that this experience will serve as a wake-up call for them and will provide an incentive for each of them to evaluate their priorities and alter course with their lives. No person should be a captive to the forces that drive them to commit such acts and these young men certainly can have many productive years ahead of them to become responsible citizens.

“This is another good example of the importance of the partnership between the Sheriff’s Office and residents of Washington Parish. I am grateful to the witnesses who came forward to provide valuable information and to our officers who did an excellent job in quickly solving this crime.”