In the early morning hours of December 6, 2015, a burglary occurred at the Warnerton Quick Stop on Highway 25 north of Franklinton. The burglars broke out the front window of the business and stole more than $5,000 in merchandise. They were recorded by the video surveillance system at the store but were unable to be identified. The two suspects were wearing gloves and their faces were concealed. The video recording also depicted the burglars’ car, a light colored small vehicle that was missing a wheel cover.
Sheriff’s Office detectives continued their investigation of the burglary, releasing video and other information to the public and other law enforcement agencies. In late December, detectives were able to identify Desmond Martin, 20, a resident of East Ford Road in Mt. Hermon as one of the burglars. Martin was placed in the Washington Parish Jail charged with Burglary of a Commercial Business with his bond set at $5,000. He met the conditions of bond and was released.
A break in the case came when the Kentwood Police Department arrested a man in connection with a drive-by shooting. They relayed information to Washington Parish detectives that the vehicle used in the shooting was missing a wheel cover.
Washington Parish detectives obtained a search warrant for the vehicle and discovered items which were taken from the store in Warnerton. Further investigation led to the arrest of Derek Martin, 20, a resident of Wilson Road in Kentwood and a cousin to Desmond Martin.
Derek Martin was booked into the Washington Parish Jail on March 7, charged with Burglary of a Commercial Business and Criminal Damage to Property. He remains in jail with no bond and also has charges in Tangipahoa Parish related to the drive by shooting.
The investigation into the Warnerton burglary is ongoing and detectives believe at least two more individuals were involved in the aftermath of the burglary wherein they bought and resold the stolen merchandise, knowing that it was stolen.
Washington Parish Sheriff Randy Seal responded to news of the arrests. “I appreciate the full cooperation of the Kentwood officers who provided valuable information which led to the arrest of Derek Martin. As I’ve said before, we work closely with other law enforcement agencies throughout the area and combine our resources to get criminals off of our streets. The Martin cousins were put behind bars where they belong and sooner or later we will get the others involved in the crime.”