Patterson man accused of stealing phone then seeking reward for its return

BAYOU VISTA, La. -- A Patterson man was arrested by St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s deputies this morning after he stole an iPhone at a store in Bayou Vista and then called the owner of the phone demanding money in exchange for returning the phone, according to Sheriff Mark Hebert.

James Joseph Sr., 61, of Paradise Lane in Patterson, was arrested at 1:24 a.m. today for theft of more than $500.

A deputy responded to a Berwick residence in reference to a complaint of a stolen cell phone. During the investigation, the deputy learned that the victim lost a cell phone at the Dollar Store in Bayou Vista.

Despite efforts by the victim and assistance from store personnel, the phone was not found in the store. Later in the evening, the victim’s son received a call from the missing phone.

The caller stated that he found the phone and demanded a cash reward to return it, Hebert stated. The caller told the victim to leave the money at the post office in Patterson, he stated.

Patterson police were contacted and officers located a man with a phone matching the victim’s description, Hebert stated. The man was identified as Joseph.

The phone was returned to the victim.

Joseph was taken to the parish jail and held. No bail is set.

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