St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office arrests Chalmette man in connection with rash of car burglaries

Chad Melerine.

Detectives with the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Bureau arrested a Chalmette man in connection with more than a half dozen car burglaries which took place in Chalmette throughout the week leading up to Christmas, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

Chad Melerine, 39, of the 2900 block of Pecan Drive, was booked Dec. 29 with one count of simple burglary, Jan. 2 with three counts and Jan. 4 with two counts. Charges also are pending for an additional two counts of simple burglary.

In all of the instances, Sheriff James Pohlmann said, the victim’s vehicles were unlocked.  Sheriff Pohlmann said vehicles should be locked at all times in an effort to deter criminals
from committing a “crime of opportunity.”

“This is why it’s very important to make sure your vehicles are locked at all times,” Sheriff Pohlmann said. “Locking your vehicle and not leaving items of value in plain sight can greatly reduce your chances of being the victim of theft.”

The burglaries took place in the 8700 block of Livingston Avenue, the 2200 block of Fazzio Road, the 3500 block of Golden Drive, the 2800 block of Palmisano Boulevard and along East Carolina and East Carmack Drives.

In the burglaries on East Carolina and East Carmack, Melerine was identified from home surveillance video, and in the Palmisano Boulevard burglary, Melerine left his cell phone behind in one of the vehicles.

Melerine is being held in St. Bernard Parish Prison on a $15,000 bond.

Sheriff Pohlmann said this is the second case in the past three months involving more than two dozen residents in Chalmette and Meraux who reported their unlocked vehicles being entered and items of value such as wallets, purses and credit cards being stolen.

The Sheriff urges residents to lock their vehicles and report any suspicious activity in their neighborhood by calling the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office at (504) 271-2501.