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UPDATE: Chef Burglary Suspect Caught

A local chef's experience with a burglar and local police goes viral after a Facebook post.
Patrick Carter is being sought by Monroe Police for the burglary.
Patrick Carter is being sought by Monroe Police for the burglary.
UPDATE, JAN 8: 

Monroe Police have arrested Patrick Carter, the suspect in the vehicle burglary of local chef, Cory Bahr.

At approximately 3 p.m., Monroe Police Detectives were notified that Carter was taken into custody by Probation and Parole agents.  

Detectives have arrested Carter and he has been booked at OCC for one Count of Illegal Possession of Stolen Items. 

Carter is the suspect to have allegedly possessed property that was stolen in the vehicle burglary involving Corey Bahr. 

No property has been recovered at this time and the investigation is ongoing.


UPDATE, JAN 7:

Mayor Jamie Mayo issued the following statement in regard to the controversy surrounding the Cory Bahr theft and the subsequent incidental phone call made by Chief Holmes to a News-Star reporter:

“I have talked with Barbara Leader (the News-Star Reporter) and Chief Holmes, and I have received different accounts about what was said, or not said, during the accidental phone call. 

Our main focus in this crime, as in all others, is to arrest the criminal who is responsible. A suspect has been identified and a warrant is out for his arrest.

I have directed Chief Holmes to have the Monroe Police Department conduct a thorough review of their policies and procedures as it relates to methods they use to improve and enhance their response to citizen tips. 

It is unfortunate that some former Monroe police officers and a current city councilman are taking an opportunity to further politicize this incident through social media.

The Monroe Police Department will do their best to prevent and solve all crimes throughout the community. As we have done before, whenever we find an opportunity to improve our ability to better serve our citizens, we will do so.”

– Mayor Jamie Mayo

See the story below for the details behind both incidents.

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MONROE -- A local chef's experience with a burglar and local police goes viral after a Facebook post.

Cory Bahr, chef of Restaurant Cotton in Monroe, has struggled to get his belongings back for weeks.

"Things that were near and dear to me, that were tools of my trade," he said.

On December 17, 2013, his car was broken into. He said several items such as professional knives, a Macbook Pro laptop, and even the keys to the restaurant were stolen -- items totaling tens of thousands of dollars. Another co-worker also had items stolen as well, and Bahr said they had to switch the locks on the restaurant as a precaution.

He says he quickly filed a police report.

"The responding officer was not very compassionate about the situation, which I can understand, there's been a few other instances like mine," said Bahr.

After weeks of dead ends with Monroe Police, he took his frustrations to social media Sunday night. It prompted a firestorm of shares, likes, and comments -- sparking concern over police efforts.

"My post on Facebook wasn't a grab for attention, it was simply stating my personal experience," he said.

In his post, Bahr shared his ongoing experience, adding that as he waited for police to pick up the case, he used an iPhone app to track down the MacBook. 

"You cannot ping a laptop unless it is activated," said Sgt. Mark Johnson, the Public Information Officer for Monroe Police. "That was the first time that the laptop was activated, to which Mr. Bahr was able to get that information.

After a week, he found a lead on a location.

"Me being me, I couldn't resist driving by," he said.

In his post he wrote of the experience on December 22, "I was rewarded with seeing a young man with my stolen jacket on and one of his friends twirling a MacBook charger on the front porch."

"I called the responding officer, I told them, 'They have my stuff I can see it, i can verify it.'I was told, 'okay we'll handle it...You need to leave the area,'" said Bahr during an interview with KTVE.

Bahr said he heard nothing else until he called back the next day, December 23.

"They told me the detectives were on vacation and that my case probably hasn't been assigned," he said.

That same day, Bahr said a helpful detective eventually confirmed through neighbors and the homeowners that his belongings were there, but the suspects were long gone.

"A search was allowed by the people who were there they were able to help the detective identify the suspect," said Johnson.

"But then at that point, there was nothing really that they could do," said Bahr.  "It starts at the top and goes down. I can't blame a bad experience on my restaurant my service staff. It starts with me. And if I'm not executing at the highest level, my staff can't either."

Monroe Police said Monday that they cannot search a house without an order from the judge.

"The residence that was located is not the house where the suspect lives. The constitution of the United States is pretty explicit," Johnson said.

"The patrol officer did not want to spoil the scene so to speak before the detectives had a chance to go in there," said Sgt. Johnson. "We want it to be sure that we're on Bahr's side. At no point has any of this been meant to be accusatory."

Bahr said he hoped that the ordeal would have been handled differently by Monroe Police.

"I think it's always the way you handle situations, and the way you make people feel about those situations," he said. "Being compassionate, being willing to try to get out there, and do everything you can to make sure the citizens are as safe as they possibly can be."

Monroe police say a suspect has been identified as 20-year old Patrick Carter, pictured above. Carter is on probation for other crimes. A warrant has been issued for him for a charge of illegal possession of stolen things with a bond set at $10,000. Anyone with information about Carter's location is urged to contact Monroe police at 318-329-2600 or CrimeStoppers at 318-388-2274.

Monroe Police say they are working through witnesses and informants to find Carter.

"The Monroe Police Department is taking his case very seriously," said Johnson. "Sometimes the wheels of justice grind slowly because we have to follow the rules."

City leaders believe this brings awareness to public safety meetings in the community.

"It was remarkable. This energized the people," said Monroe city councilman Ray Armstrong on the Facebook response. "People need to be energized. They need to participate, they need to tell elected officials how they feel."

Police spoke on comments made on the viral Facebook post about crime being on the rise and the police effort in Monroe.

"That crime-free garden of Eden just does not exist in the United States. Monroe is no different than that. But the one thing you can count on from the city of Monroe, is you've got a police department and administration who is taking this very seriously and we do our best to catch the bad guys and put them in jail," said Johnson.

Chef Bahr says the Facebook response has been overwhelming, but the situation with the police itself -- alarming.

"People deserve to air it out," said Bahr. "Those police officers are busy. I mean, these streets are not in the best shape right now."

An article by The News Star, released this afternoon, suggests that Chief Holmes may be accusing Bahr of "padding his losses" and "not properly locking his vehicle."

That's after The News-Star reported a possibly unintentional phone call made to a reporter by Holmes while he was having a conversation with someone else at work.

The police department has issued this statement:

"Chief Holmes is extremely disappointed with the story that was reported in The News Star. Chief Holmes was having a private conversation in his office when certain statements were taken out of context. The conversation by Chief Holmes was part of a normal process of elimination during any criminal investigation. Chief Holmes strongly disagrees with many parts of this article which are inaccurate."


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