Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre reported the arrest of a Galliano woman for multiple purse-snatching incidents at stores in the South Lafourche area. Deana Melancon (W/F, D.O.B. 06/26/67) of 110 Peach Street, Apartment 5E, was arrested on Thursday following a traffic stop wherein deputies also discovered she had left her children home unsupervised.
At around 3 a.m. on Thursday, October 10, deputies initiated a traffic stop on a northbound vehicle on LA 1 which was traveling with only one functioning headlight at a speed of 76 miles per hour in a 45-miles-per-hour zone. Deputies identified the driver as Deana Melancon and noticed her trying to conceal an item with her right hand. Deputies discovered that item to be a pipe commonly used to smoke crack cocaine. As deputies attempted to place her under arrest, Melancon resisted, but she was eventually handcuffed and placed into the rear of a patrol unit. As deputies were speaking to her at the scene, they became concerned the she had left her children without adult supervision. Deputies responded to her apartment and confirmed her children were there without supervision. Deputies made contact with the father of the children, and they were released to his custody. Melancon, meanwhile, was transported to the Lafourche Parish Detention Center in Thibodaux for booking.
Detectives had been investigating four separate cases wherein purses and wallets were stolen, or nearly stolen, from women while shopping at a stores in the South Lafourche area. In two incidents, Melancon allegedly stole a purse from a shopper, one of which belonged to an elderly woman. She was later found to have allegedly used credit cards she found in the purses. In two other incidents, she attempted to take a purse and wallet, but was caught and confronted by the victims in both cases before leaving the store. In all these cases, deputies obtained a description of the suspect as well as the vehicle in which she left scene. Utilizing the Law Enforcement Data System (LEDS), detectives were able to connect Melancon to each of the four cases thanks to these descriptions, especially of her vehicle – a purple 2003 Chevrolet Impala – the same vehicle Melancon was driving when deputies initiated the traffic stop. Through this investigation, detectives obtained warrants for Melancon’s arrest and served the warrants following her arrest on the traffic stop.
Based on the purse-snatching cases, Melancon was charged with two counts of Purse Snatching, two counts of Attempted Theft, two counts of Unauthorized Use of an Access Card, and Theft of the Assets of an Aged Person. Based on the traffic stop, Melancon was also charged with two counts of Child Desertion, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Resisting an officer, Speeding and driving without headlights. She is being held in lieu of $9,600 bond as set by Judge F. Hugh Larose.
Detectives are asking anyone who was a victim of a similar crime to contact the Investigations Division at (985) 532-4320.