A burglary at a Baton Rouge, Louisiana, pawnshop this past weekend has led to the arrests of three suspects in what police are calling a plot to harm officers.
On Saturday, July 9, Baton Rouge police responded to a burglary alarm at Cash America Pawn. One suspect identified as Antonio Thomas, 17, was arrested at the scene armed with a handgun and a BB gun. Thomas was questioned by police for several hours and gave up the names of others involved in the robbery. On Sunday they apprehended Malik Bridgewater, 20, and an unidentified 13-year-old minor in connection to the robbery.
A total of eight firearms were stolen from the pawnshop and police stated that the burglary was part of a wider plot. Police Chief Carl Dabadie said in a press conference said that there was a “substantial, credible threat” to harm police officers in the Baton Rouge area. Dabadie stated that when Thomas was questioned, he did “not give any details about when or where a possible attack would be carried out.”
All three suspects face charges that include burglary, simple burglary, and theft of a firearm; none have been charged in any attempt to harm police. Police are looking for a fourth suspect, and are encouraging him to turn himself in to authorities.
Baton Rouge police also arrested a man identified as Trashone Coats, 23, for buying two of the stolen weapons.He was charged with illegal possession of a stolen firearm. Coats is not being considered a part of the alleged plot.
The city of Baton Rouge is on edge after the police shooting and death of Alton Sterling, 37, who was killed outside the Triple S Food Mart during a police encounter on July 5. Video of the police shooting emerged on social media and caused widespread outrage against police tactics with Black male suspects.