Sam Fourcha, 18, of Metairie faces several charges including attempted carjacking, burglary of a vehicle and aggravated flight from an officer after leading deputies on a vehicle pursuit on Interstate 10.
On Monday, May 2, 2022, about 1:15 a.m., officers responded to reports of a suspicious vehicle parked in the middle of Lakewood Drive in LaPlace with a male subject exiting and entering the vehicle, walking on the road, and pulling on door handles of vehicles.
Upon arrival in the Belle Terre Lakes area, officers observed the suspicious vehicle with no lights traveling slowly on Lakewood and West Lakeview drives. Officers attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a vehicle at the intersection of Lakewood and Fairway drives. The driver, later identified as Fourcha, came to a complete stop, before accelerating at high speed, west on Fairway Drive. Officers also observed the vehicle to have no visible licensed plate. The vehicle turned onto Belle Terre Boulevard and continued to accelerate in speed, and entered I-10 east toward New Orleans.
Fourcha led officers on a vehicle pursuit eastbound on I-10 then lost control and crashed into a guard rail at the St. John/St. Charles Parish border. Fourcha fled the vehicle on foot, running towards oncoming traffic. Officers observed Fourcha repeatedly pull on a passenger door handle of a vehicle stopped in traffic. Fourcha was unable to make entry due to the doors being locked, and the driver refusing to unlock the doors. As the suspect continued running toward oncoming traffic, officers detained him.
Officers also observed a handgun on the driver side floorboard of the vehicle, along with several electronic devices including cellphones, laptops and a game console.
Through further investigation, officers learned three vehicles on West Lakeview Drive were burglarized. Reviewing home video surveillance in the West Lakeview Drive area, officers observed a subject, identified as Fourcha, pulling on multiple vehicle door handles in the area.
Fourcha was arrested May 2, 2022 and booked with aggravated flight from an officer by vehicle (felony), attempted carjacking (felony), three counts of attempted simple burglary of a vehicle (felony), driver must be licensed, driving on roadway laned for traffic, headlamps for motor vehicles and motorcycles, maximum speed limit (Interstate or controlled access highway), obedience to and required traffic control devices, obstructing public passages, reckless operation of a vehicle (misd), required position and method of turning at intersections, resisting an officer by flight (misd), three counts of simple burglary – motor vehicle, stop signs and yield signs, switched plates (misd), turning movements and required signals.
Fourcha is being held in custody in lieu of a $189,400 bond.
“We thank the citizens who quickly called 911 to report this suspicious activity,” Sheriff Mike Tregre said. “Surveillance cameras in the neighborhood also helped us. These cameras appear to show Fourcha pulling on vehicle door handles.”
**LOCK YOUR DOORS**
By locking your vehicle and removing valuables, residents have a much better chance of not being a victim of vehicle burglary and theft, Sheriff Mike Tregre said.
Criminals look for easy targets and often attempt to burglarize unsecured vehicles. In many cases, thieves will simply go vehicle to vehicle in parking lots or neighborhoods, checking door handles for unlocked vehicles.