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Monday, May 11, 2009

Two arrested for fiery practical joke

car prank | wrong carA couple of men thought they were just playing one of their practical jokes on a friend. Instead,they ended up under arrest Wednesday after their prank literally ended up in flames.

Louis Pecou, 28 and Robert L. Mitchell Jr., 33, decided on Sunday to play a joke on a friend of theirs and steal the person’s car, drive it to Pecou’s place and wait for their friend to call.

The only problem was, they stole the wrong car.

The whole affair started Sunday at 7:30 p.m. when Slidell police responded to a call of a stolen 1988 Chrysler Lebaron that had been taken from a drugstore parking lot on Gause Boulevard. The woman, who owned the car and reported the theft, did not know Pecou and Mitchell, said Slidell police spokesman Capt. Kevin Foltz.

The next day, a St. Tammany Sheriff’s deputy reported that he identified a stolen car Chrysler that had been reported by the woman.

Slidell detectives got a lead on the case pointing to Pecou as the suspect, and on Wednesday, police went to Pecou’s apartment. He admitted to police that he took the car and burned it.

Pecou told police about the practical joke, but when he got the car back to his apartment, he realized he had taken the wrong vehicle.

According to the police report, and he first thought about returning the car to the parking lot, but when he got there, he saw the police and panicked. He then bought a gallon of gasoline, put it in a gas can, drove the stolen car to a wooded area off Apple Pie Road and set the car on fire.

Pecou was arrested for theft of a motor vehicle. Police also learned that Mitchell help Pecou in the theft, and he was arrested as a principal to a theft of a motor vehicle on Wednesday.

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