Sheriff Newell Normand announces the arrest of James K. Ziegler, W/M, 45, of 2219 Indiana Avenue in Kenner. Zeigler was booked into the JPCC with two counts of Simple Robbery.
On Thursday, January 5, 2017 around 5:14am our officers responded to a robbery at the business of the Brother's Food Mart located at 6600 Veterans Boulevard in Metairie. A male victim/employee reported that while working behind the service counter he observed an unknown white male suspect enter the business, select a drink and proceed to the checkout counter. As the clerk opened the register to complete the transaction, the suspect reached over the counter and forcefully removed an undisclosed amount of US currency from the register. As the suspect fled from the business, the victim followed him outside and observed him entering into the driver's side of a newer model silver colored Toyota passenger vehicle. This vehicle then drove east onto Veterans Boulevard and then onto the Interstate 10 east entrance ramp. JPSO Crime Scene arrived and obtained a DNA swab from the cash register draw where the suspect removed the money.
Robbery Detective Marc Macaluso conducted a follow-up investigation into this robbery and was able to obtain video surveillance of the robbery as it unfolded. The suspect was wearing a green short sleeve shirt with an "UnderArmour" logo, jeans, tennis shoes and a dark colored baseball cap with a logo on the front. The suspect had tattoos on both of his left and right forearms and had a medium to heavy build and his face was not concealed at the time of the robbery.
On Friday, January 6, 2016 Detective Macaluso learned that members of the New Orleans Police Department were investigating a similar style simple robbery that had occurred on the same morning of the Metairie Brother's Food Mart. This robbery occurred at the Exxon Circle K at 704 Howard Avenue in New Orleans. In this robbery the suspect was captured on video surveillance inside of the store and an image of the suspect vehicle was also captured as he fled from the location. The suspect vehicle appeared to be a silver colored four door Toyota make. This information was distributed and Detective Macaluso had the opportunity to view the photographs from the New Orleans robbery and it appeared that the New Orleans suspect was the same suspect from the Brother's robbery just hours later. New Orleans investigators were able to determine a partial plate of the suspect vehicle as LA plate #N47395.
Detective Jimmy Shook assigned to the JPSO CIC began researching the ALPR camera system and noted that a silver colored four-door Toyota Corolla bearing Louisiana license plate #N437495 traveled through an ALPR positioned on Airline Hwy in Metairie around 2:27am on January 5, 2017. This vehicle was registered to Enterprise Rent-A-Car and was leased to a James Ziegler. Ziegler was also listed as an UBER driver with Enterprise.
Computer research on Ziegler revealed that he was listed as 6'01" tall and weighed 210 pounds and had tattoos listed on his left and right arms. Further researched revealed that Ziegler had an extensive criminal history for armed robbery, first degree robbery, simple robbery, purse snatching, simple burglary, aggravated criminal damage, theft and DUI . He was convicted of first degree robbery, purse snatching, simple robbery and simple burglary and was released from the Louisiana Department of Corrections on November 3, 2016.
James Ziegler was positively identified in a photo line-up by the Brothers Food Mart victim. Based on these facts, an arrest warrant was issued for James K. Ziegler for Simple Robbery. It should be noted that robbery investigators believed that Ziegler may be responsible for a similar style robbery that occurred on January 4, 2017 around 9:15pm at the business of the Discount Stop located at 1002 North Arnoult Road in Metairie. In this robbery a white male suspect grabbed money from the female victim clerk as she opened the cash register and fled.
On January 6, 2017 members of the JPSO Robbery Section traveled to 2219 Indiana Avenue and observed the 2017 Toyota Corolla parked and unoccupied in the driveway. Ziegler was ultimately apprehended outside of the residence without incident. Search warrants executed at Ziegler's residence and the Toyota Corolla resulted in the recovery of clothing items worn by Ziegler during the robberies.
Ziegler was transported to the JPSO Investigations Bureau for questioning. Detective Macaluso presented Ziegler with the still photographs taken from inside of the Brother's Food Mart. Upon his review, Ziegler identified himself as the suspect and confessed to robbing the male employee at the Brothers Food Mart. Ziegler also confessed to committing the robbery at the Discount Stop along with the New Orleans robbery of the Exxon / Circle K gas station at 704 Howard Avenue in New Orleans. Ziegler admitted that he an addiction to "crack" cocaine and needed money to support his habit.
Members of the JPSO Robbery Section contacted New Orleans investigators and advised them accordingly of Ziegler's admissions relative to their simple robbery investigation. He was transported to the JPCC and booked on two separate counts of simple robbery for the two incidents in Jefferson Parish.
Colonel John Fortunato