3 Arrested in Plot to Attack Police in Baton Rouge
A burglary at a pawn shop in Baton Rouge is believed to be part of a larger conspiracy to attack police officers in the area, according to the Baton Rouge Police Department.
Eight guns were stolen from Cash America Pawn Saturday before 2 a.m., police said. Of the four suspects who were involved in the burglary, three have been taken into custody. One suspect told police he was looking for bullets to harm police officers in the Baton Rouge Area, said Baton Rouge Police Chief Dabadie, Jr.
Police said they consider the threats credible.
Six of the firearms, which were all handguns, have been recovered. A BB gun was also stolen from the store.
One of the suspects was apprehended while fleeing on foot. A 17-year-old was apprehended on the scene in possession of one handgun and one airsoft BB gun. During questioning, he informed police that he and the three other suspects stole the firearms and were going to get bullets to shoot police. He was booked into parish prison for simple burglary and theft of a firearm, police said.
One of the suspects involved in the burglary was a 13-year-old, who was charged with simple burglary and theft of a firearm, police said. Another suspect, 20-year-old Malik Bridgewater, was arrested Sunday at his home and charged with burglary and theft of a firearm. Police recovered three of the stolen handguns from him.
Police are asking that the fourth suspect, who is still at large, turn himself in. His identity is unknown.
Surveillance video shows the suspects using a ladder to climb to the roof of the building, where they made entry into the store, police said.
Investigators recovered two of the stolen handguns from 23-year-old Trashone Coats, who allegedly purchased them illegally on the street, police said. He was charged with illegal possession of a stolen firearm.
The owner of the pawn shop told police it doesn’t appear that any ammunition was taken from the pawn shop.
Several law enforcement agencies are investigating the threat, including Louisiana State Police, the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office and the ATF.
Police said they increased their presence in the city following the shooting death of Alton Sterling last week due to the “very real and viable threats to law enforcement” in the area. The aggressive police response, which showed police in riot gear clearing crowds, was also due in part to the information obtained after the burglary, said East Baton Rouge Sheriff Sid Gatreaux.
The investigation is ongoing.