On September 10, 2018, Thomas Poche of 507 Warrington Dr. New Orleans, LA., age 34, pled guilty to 5 counts of Simple Burglary. Poche was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Phil Maples, and presiding over this matter was the Honorable Judge Thomas Kliebert. This guilty plea was the result of a plea agreement with prosecutors following a string of burglaries between 2016 and 2017.
On May 29, 2016, detectives with the Gonzales Police Department responded to a local church in reference to a burglary after members of the congregation observed that a door had been kicked in, the lights were on, and a sound board had been taken. Upon arrival, detectives canvassed the scene and observed where forced entry had been made into the church. Detectives observed feces and urine on the floor of the church and collected samples as evidence. These samples were submitted to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for DNA analysis. Testing was able to confirm that the samples belonged to Thomas Poche. A warrant of arrest was subsequently obtained for Poche.
On August 10, 2017, detectives with the Gonzales Police Department responded to a residence in the area of Black Bayou Ext. Rd. Upon arrival, detectives made contact with the homeowner who advised that the rear door of the residence had been forced open. Miscellaneous items including jewelry and firearms had been take from the residence. Detectives identified Thomas Poche as the suspect in this burglary after they learned he had pawned the jewelry taken from the residence at a New Orleans pawn shop. Detectives were also able to determine that Poche was in close proximity to this residence shortly after the burglary. A warrant of arrest was then obtained for Poche.
On November 3, 2017, detectives with the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office responded to a residential burglary in the Gonzales area. During the burglary, multiple credit cards were taken from the residence. During this investigation, detectives learned that these credit cards had been used at several businesses in the New Orleans area on the same afternoon of the burglary. Detectives were able to identify Thomas Poche as the individual who had used the credit cards. Detectives were then able to obtain a warrant of arrest for Poche.
On December 21, 2017, deputies with the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office responded to a residence along Hwy 74 in Gonzales after receiving a complaint of a suspicious vehicle parked near the rear door of the complainant’s neighboring residence. A male subject was observed carrying items from the residence into the rear of the vehicle. A short while later the subject left the area. The complainant was able to follow the vehicle and get a license plate reading. Upon arrival, deputies observed that forced entry was made through the front door of the residence. A variety of items including televisions, video games, and a handgun were taken from the residence. The license plate information from the suspicious vehicle was provided to detectives. A search indicated that the vehicle belonged to a relative of Thomas Poche who he lived with. In addition, following the burglary, Poche pawned the video games taken from the residence at a Baton Rouge pawn shop. A warrant of arrest was then issued for Poche.
On December 30, 2017, detectives with the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office responded to a burglary at a local apartment complex. Upon arrival, detectives made contact with two individuals who advised that as they were walking towards their apartment, a male subject approached them and asked to use the phone. The subjects became suspicious and went into the apartment. After getting inside the apartment, the residents observed that miscellaneous items had been taken from the apartment. The suspicious subject left the area in a small maroon car. Detectives presented a phot line-up to the victims and they were able to identify Thomas Poche as the suspicious person. Based on the circumstance and Poche’s tactics during the commission of multiple nearby burglaries, a warrant of arrest was subsequently issued for Poche.
Thomas Poche was subsequently apprehended, arrested, and booked into the Ascension Parish Detention Center on all of the above-mentioned arrest warrants.
Upon entering a guilty plea to the above-mentioned charges, as per the plea agreement with prosecutors, Poche was sentenced to a total of 20 years with the Louisiana Department of Corrections with credit for time served.