Minden Press-Herald

Oct 02nd

Man cites bad times for crime

michael_moffettPleading hard times and claiming he needed diapers and food for his baby, a Minden man is facing theft charges for stealing from his ex-employer and former co-worker.

Michael W. Moffett, 26, of the 200 block of Watterman Street, was arrested by Minden Police detectives on warrants for two counts of felony illegal theft of stolen things and three counts of theft by fraud.

Detective Sgt. Heath Balkom said the department was contacted by the president of a Shreveport Road-based business when he realized a Briggs & Stratton generator valued at approximately $850 was missing.

"While he (the president) was questioning people about it, he thought about Moffett, an employee that had borrowed money in the past and had just been fired," Balkom said. "When they questioned him, he denied it, but the next day, Moffett sent his former boss a message stating he did take the generator and pawned it. He was planning on getting it back out (of pawn) as soon as he got his paycheck."

Balkom said the president decided to press charges for possession of stolen property.

"We found the generator at a local pawn shop where they had given Moffett $150 for it," Balkom said. "That's where theft by fraud comes into play. He fraudulently presented the generator to the owner of the pawn shop as his to pawn and received cash for it."

Another employee reportedly approached detectives and asked if they would look for his missing generator, which was manufactured by Champion and valued at around $500.

"When we started looking into it, we found that generator and numerous other items," Balkom said. "We called the second victim and asked him if he was missing anything else. He started looking and said he was missing a chain saw, weed eater and router, in addition to the generator."

Balkom, Lt. Dan Weaver, Capt. Marvin Garrett and Sgt. Chris Cheatham located those items at a local pawn shop. They reportedly obtained a warrant for Moffett's arrest for the Briggs & Stratton generator while they waited for the second victim to produce proof of ownership on the other items.

Eventually, Balkom said, Moffett admitted stealing all the items and pawning them.

"Moffett stated he was in hard times and needed diapers for his baby and food," Balkom said. "His bosses said if he would've asked them for the money, they would've given it to him. Moffett said he planned to return the Briggs & Stratton. He stole and pawned the other items while the owner (second victim) was incarcerated in Tennessee."

Moffett was booked and transported to Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Center (BDCC) where he was held on bonds totaling $30,000.

Order violated

In an unrelated case, Minden Police arrested Mark B. Wise, 50, of the 100 block of Emerald Drive.

He was charged with violation of a protective order and attempted unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling

Officers received a call from a residence on South Tanglewood Drive late at night in reference to someone trying to kick in the front door.

Minden Police Chief Steve Cropper said officers were dispatched to the location.

"The officers located Wise's vehicle parked at the end of the driveway near the rear of the residence," Cropper said. "Wise was not in the vehicle but he was later identified as having been the driver of the vehicle that night."

Cropper said a protective order was active against Wise by the person who lives at that location.

"Warrants were obtained for violation of the protective order and attempted unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling," Cropper said. "A few days later, Wise came to the police department and turned himself in."

He was reportedly booked at Minden Police Department and transported to BDCC under a $2,500 bond.






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