EBRSO Arrests Cell-Phone Theft Ring



East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Armed Robbery & Burglary Detectives and Retail Theft deputies began an investigation into the theft of electronics from the Central Wal-Mart on January 4, 2015.

According to reports, the suspects entered the Wal-Mart located at 10200 Sullivan Road and forced entry into the electronics case and stole more than $14,000 worth of smart phones. They then allegedly brought the stolen electronics to Gardere Communications, 1221 Gardere Lane, where the owner would buy and resell the stolen items.

Detectives obtained a search warrant for the store and searched the store on January 14, 2015 and located stolen cell phones, sales receipts and records related to the buying and selling of the stolen items.

Deputies arrested the owner of the store, Safwan Abukahla, 29, for Illegal Possession Of Stolen Things. Detectives also arrested two 14-year-old juveniles for the theft of the phones.

Detectives have an arrest warrant for Latarsha Dennis, 36, for Principle to Theft and Contributing to the Delinquency of a Juvenile. Dennis, a relative of the juveniles, allegedly assisted them by selling the stolen items to Abukahla.

It is believed that Dennis and the two juveniles are responsible for thefts spanning across several different parishes. Additional charges from other agencies may be pending.

Anyone with information concerning this incident or the whereabouts of Dennis is asked to contact the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office at 225-389-5000. Crime Stoppers is also offering a cash reward for anyone with information leading to the arrest of those responsible. Contact Crime Stoppers anonymously at (225) 344- STOP or (225) 344-7867.