Man breaks into local gas station

Published 7:18 pm Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A man allegedly committing a commercial burglary in Picayune apparently was caught red handed by police officers.

Early Tuesday morning at about 2:30 the Picayune Police Department was alerted to a commercial burglary by the alarm system at Keith’s Supercenter, 1405 Miss. 43 N., said Police Chief Jim Luke.

When officers arrived on scene, they saw a man, identified as Robert Cook, 38, of 220 Ridgeview Dr., Carriere, in Hide-A-Way Lake, attempting to turn off the alarm system via the keypad. Officers asked Cook what he was doing at the store. He indicated he was an employee of the store and was getting ready to open the store at 5 a.m., Luke read from the police report.

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Cook told officers he had a key to the store and it was still in the door lock, but when officers checked the dead bolt lock there was no key in it. Officers noticed the dead bolt was still in the locked position, jutting from the door. Cook also told officers that he had drove up to the business in a blue car, but no such vehicle was in the parking lot. The owner of the store was contacted to verify Cook’s employment with the business. The owner denied even knowing Cook, Luke said.

Additionally the door to the business appeared to have been force open, Luke said. The officers’ quick response did not give Cook time enough to take anything from the store.

Cook has been charged with commercial burglary.

Luke attributes the arrest to the quick response of the officers.

“If they wouldn’t have got there so quick, he would’ve been gone,” Luke said.

According to police records Cook has prior convictions in Louisiana for simple burglary of an inhabited dwelling, for simple burglary and for distribution of a schedule II drug (cocaine). For those charges he was remanded to the Department of Corrections in St. Bernard Parish, records show.