Chief Neal Lartigue with the Ville Platte Police Department is warning residents of two individuals who have been approaching homes, churches and businesses and asking for money.
These two individuals have been arrested and we encourage anyone who has been approached and may have given money to either of them to please contact the police department. Multiple people have come forward and stated that the stories being told by these two suspects are used to scam people. “We have been told that the male suspect claims illness in the family” stated Chief Lartigue, “and the female uses the story that she has a baby that is dying and needs gas money to get to the hospital which is out of town.” Lartigue added that these stories are not true. “The suspects approached businesses, places of worship and elderly people to prey on their kindness, we want anyone that gave them money to know that they are not alone.” Chief Lartigue said, “If you gave either of these suspects money we need to know about it.” Lartigue also added that the information obtained by the police department will be used to provide evidence to the District Attorney’s office for prosecution.
Melissa Fontenot Richardson 44, of 1021 C.J. Drive, Ville Platte was arrested on June 18, 2012 and charged with forgery, unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling and theft by fraud over $500.00. Richardson was booked into the Ville Platte City Jail were she remains incarcerated on a $30,000.00 bond set by Judge John Larry Vidrine.
Donald Ray Mitchell 46, of 424 Shuff Rd. Ville Platte was arrested on June 18, 2012 and charged with LA. R.S. 14:67.18 Cheating and Swindling the public. Mitchell remains incarcerated at the Ville Platte City Jail. No bond information available.
If you have given money to either of these suspects please contact the Ville Platte Police Department and speak to the secretary in investigations at 363-1313.