Shoplifting incident leads to drug arrests

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, February 27, 2018

A report of shoplifting at a local retailer resulted in several people being arrested for drug related offenses.

According to a departmental release, on the morning of Feb. 10, Picayune Police department officers were dispatched to a local business on Frontage Road in reference to a shoplifting incident. While en route, officers were informed by loss prevention workers that two men, identified as Mark Johnson, 22, of 967 Gause Blvd. Slidell, La., and Bruce Metz, 20, of 143 Grosbenor Place, Slidell, La. were concealing store inventory in their pockets and waistbands. Before the officers arrived at the store, they were advised Johnson had left the establishment and gotten into a car occupied by Nicole Middleton, 22, of 108 Timbers Dr. Slidell, La. in the parking lot, the release states.

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Upon their arrival, officers waited outside for Metz to exit the store and noticed Johnson re-enter the store before quickly exiting again. A short time later, Metz exited the store and was approached and placed into custody for shoplifting. Officers then approached the vehicle occupied by Johnson and Middleton. According to the release, Johnson was sitting in the driver’s seat of the car. As officers approached, they saw Johnson reach for something near his lap, later determined to be a silver pistol in the driver-side door compartment, the report states.

Officers then asked Johnson to exit the vehicle, which he refused to do several times before finally complying. Officers also asked Middleton to exit the vehicle.

After refusing multiple times, officers were forced to remove her from the vehicle. Johnson and Middleton were immediately placed into custody for disorderly conduct – failure to comply, the release states.

After recovering the pistol, officers discovered that it had been stolen, the release states.  During a search of the car, officers found a tool case in a backpack on the driver side floorboard containing a set of digital scales, two plastic baggies of a white powdery substance believed to be methamphetamine, a cellophane wrapper with 4 and ½ blue Clonazepam pills, a hypodermic needle, numerous plastic baggies commonly used to package narcotics for resale, and one straw, commonly used to inhale controlled substances, the report states.

Metz was arrested for shoplifting, Middleton was arrested for disorderly conduct failure to comply, possession of a controlled substance and possession of a stolen firearm and Johnson was arrested for disorderly conduct failure to comply, possession of a controlled substance, possession of a stolen firearm, and possession of paraphernalia, the release states.