WEST MONROE, La. — Two people are sitting behind bars after police say they committed a hit and run in a stolen vehicle.
According to reports, the West Monroe Police Department was called to the Walmart Supercenter for a hit and run accident.
A witness told police that the suspect vehicle backed into another vehicle in the parking lot. The witness also states the passenger got out, looked at both vehicles, then jumped back in the suspect vehicle before leaving the parking lot at a high rate of speed.
The suspect vehicle hopped onto I-20 heading west bust was stopped by a Louisiana State Police officer for speeding.
The driver was identified as 43-year-old James Humphry, and the passenger was identified as 27-year-old Lauren Helmsderfer.
Police discovered that the vehicle had been stolen in Ouachita Parish.
Both Humphry and Helmsderfer were arrested and taken to the West Monroe Correctional Center. Police found a used syringe on Humphry when they arrived.
According to a second arrest report, a Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Deputy made contact with the owner of the vehicle.
The owner told the deputy that he hired Humphry to do some contract work on a door at the owner’s shop.
The owner says that Humphry and Helmsderfer must have found the keys to the vehicle and taken it without his permission.
When questioned about the vehicle, Humphry told the deputy that he would not talk until he had a lawyer present. Helmsderfer claims that the owner gave them permission to use the vehicle while they were working there, but the owner says that he did not give them permission.
The pair was then transferred and booked into the Ouachita Correctional Center.
Humphry is facing charges of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Illegal Possession of Stolen Things, Hit and Run Driving, and Theft of a Motor Vehicle. Humphry is also facing a Fugitive From Justice charge.
Helmsderfer is charged with Hit and Run Driving, Theft of a Motor Vehicle, and Possession of Stolen Property ($5K-$25K value).