Agencies Join Efforts

Three Law Enforcement Agencies Join Efforts to Capture Suspected Thief Suspected Thief Wanted in Other Parishes on Similar Charges

Three law enforcement agencies, the Jena Police Department, the LaSalle Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Louisiana State Police joined efforts on Monday, June 10, 2013, to capture a man who reportedly stole a television set from the Jena Wal-Mart.  In turn, this arrest may help solve other crimes committed by a theft ring which operated in more than one state.

According to Jena Chief of Police Paul Smith, the alleged theft occurred inside the Jena City limits.  A chase of the suspect began in Jena, but ended with his capture just off LA 3104 in the Midway Community.

Around 10:25 AM, June 10, 2013, Joseph Marguis, Jr., 28, of Pineville, LA, reportedly walked out of the Jena Walmart carrying a television set. Wal-Mart employees, who believed that he had not paid for the television, quickly called 911 as Marguis sped his late model tan Ford Explorer out of the Wal-Mart parking lot.

The LaSalle Parish Sheriff’s Office dispatcher immediately notified all police units in the area to be on the lookout for the vehicle, which was believed to be headed west on U.S. 84.  LaSalle Parish Sheriff, Scott Franklin, heard the dispatch, saw the vehicle heading east instead of west and notified Jena PD Officer, Todd Roark, who was east of Jena on US 84.

Roark began traveling west on US 84 and met the vehicle. Roark turned to pursue the vehicle and observed the driver turn onto Carpenter Street.  The driver of the Explorer ignored Roark’s emergency lights and siren. At 10:27 AM, Officer Roark notified LPSO that the driver would not stop the vehicle and continued pursuit.  Marguis took a left onto East Bradford Street traveling west. Sheriff Franklin stationed himself at the intersection of U.S. 127 and West Bradford Street. When Marguis arrived at the intersection, he failed to stop at the stop sign and crossed LA 127, nearly losing control of his vehicle.

Sheriff Franklin, Deputies Damin Dozier and Mike Barber, along with Officer Roark continued the pursuit west on West Bradford Street to LA 3104 (Midway Cutoff Road). Marquis turned right on LA 3104 toward US 84.

At the intersection of US 84 and LA 3104 (in front of Midway Baptist Church), Marguis’ vehicle collided with another vehicle. Even though he heavily damaged this vehicle, Marguis continued to evade law officers and headed west on US 84.  Jena PD Officer, Roark, stopped at the scene to assist.  The LA State Police responded to a call to investigate the wreck.

Marguis turned onto Hina Chata Street, passed in front of The Twisted Feather, went into the nearby neighborhood, left his now disabled vehicle on King Street, and continued on foot.

Officers with the LPSO, both on foot and in vehicles, searched the Midway area for the suspect. Chief Deputy Sheriff, Jimmy Arbogast, and LPSO detectives joined the chase, along with Deputy Sheriff, Jeremy Roark, and K-9 Judy, the LPSO’s bloodhound.

Shortly thereafter, Marguis was spotted in the Grand Oaks Trailer Park on the Midway cutoff.  K-9 Judy immediately picked up his trail and flushed him out of some bushes near the trailer park. Marguis surrendered and was taken into custody.

Officers later learned that Marquis had outstanding warrants for theft in Rapides and Ouachita Parishes and several counties in Mississippi. According to Rapides and Ouachita officials, it is believed that Marquis is part of a theft ring operating in Louisiana and Mississippi.

Jena police charged Marguis with theft less than $500, aggravated flight from an officer, failure to yield, reckless operation, driving under suspension, and no insurance.

Charges placed against Marguis by the LPSO and State Police include: hit and run, careless operation, driving under suspension, theft, aggravated flight from officer, failure to yield, no insurance and reckless operation.  His bond was set at $29,475.00.

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