Former employee arrested for theft of laptops valued at over $50,000
POSTED: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 - 6:00am
UPDATED: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 - 6:04am
BELLE CHASE, LA — On Wednesday, August 21, 2013, the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office (PPSO) responded to the theft of 44 Dell Latitude 6430U laptop computers, valued at $50,380, from the Phillips 66 Alliance Refinery located in the 15500 block of Highway 23 in Belle Chasse.
During the investigation, detectives learned that the laptops, valued at $1,145 per computer, were purchased in June and they were placed in storage pending issuance. Additionally, investigators obtained the computer’s serial numbers, computer access logs to the storage area, and video surveillance.
On Monday, August 26, 2013, Detectives discovered that one of the laptops had been pawned at a Metairie pawn shop for $250. Detectives subsequently recovered the laptop and conducted an interview with the individual who sold it. Detectives learned that this person purchased the laptop from another individual.
On Tuesday, September 3, 2013, Detectives interviewed the individual who sold the laptop to the individual who pawned it. Investigators learned that a known acquaintance, identified as Michael Ramsey, 52, of the 10 block of West Blueridge Court in New Orleans, allegedly sold the individual the laptop. At the time of the incident, Ramsey was a Phillips 66 employee who had access to the computers.
On Wednesday, September 4, 2013, Detectives located Ramsey at the refinery and conducted an interview with him regarding the investigation. During questioning, Ramsey admitted to taking computers from the company without permission. Ramsey told investigators that he believes he stole approximately 10 or 12 computers, but could not provide an exact amount. Ramsey informed detectives that he stole the computers to support a crack cocaine addiction and to help Michael Ramsey pay for a family member’s medical bills.
Ramsey was placed under arrest and transported to the Belle Chasse Lockup where he was booked with theft over $500.
Currently, investigators have recovered only two of the 44 stolen laptops. The PPSO is asking for the public’s help in recovering the remaining 42 computers. Criminal charges will not be filed against anyone who turns over the stolen laptops.
If anyone has additional information on this crime or need to make arrangements to surrender a laptop, please contact Lieutenant Brett Ricks with the PPSO Criminal Investigations Bureau at (504) 564-2525 or (504) 297-5273.