Thou shalt not steal. A Louisiana family failed not only to heed that commandment, but the unwritten one that stipulates “And if thou dost steal, thou shalt not be stupid enough to get caught selling loot at a yard sale.”
Clariese Jones, Paul Mikell, and their daughter, Olivia Jones, were arrested on Sept. 23 after admitting to having repeatedly burglarized the El Bethel Apostolic Ministry in Slidell. To add idiocy to injury, the trio followed up its most recent haul by attempting to unload the goods via a yard sale at their home a few blocks from the church.
Among the easily identifiable merchandise were several speakers, a CD player, and other electronics fitting descriptions of items parishioners had been advised were filched from the house of God. In earlier heists, the family made off with water coolers and electric generators.
ABC News reports that police received a tip that some of the stolen items were on display in the family’s back yard and that signs in front of the house advertised that the items were for sale.
While inside the home speaking with the homeowners, detectives said that they also noted two water coolers in the living room and an additional speaker placed in the rear yard of the residence.
When questioned by authorities, the three wilted and admitted their guilt. They confessed that Olivia and Clariese Jones went inside the church and removed multiple items while Paul Mikell waited outside in his vehicle.
“We’ve recovered most of it,” St. Tammany Police Capt. George Bonnett told reporters. “We’re very close to having all of it — about 95 percent has been recovered.”
The Joneses and Mikell were arrested for burglary of a religious building, and are currently being held at St. Tammany Parish Jail on $30,000 bond. It is unclear whether they have an attorney.
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