March 28, 2018  |  04:27 pm

What started as a routine domestic-related call about a verbal dispute over keys, resulted in the recovery of two stolen firearms and has cleared at least one vehicle burglary case, all thanks to an alert St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s deputy.

On Tuesday, March 27, a St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s deputy was dispatched to a home on Maplewood Street near Slidell in reference to a verbal dispute between a couple over lost or stolen keys.

Upon arriving at the home, the female informed the deputy that her boyfriend, who had been staying at her residence for a couple of weeks, had placed two firearms under the mattress in a bedroom.  She told the deputy, for his safety, she wanted him to be aware of the firearms, and since she had young children she wanted them taken out of the residence.

She also made the deputy aware of drug paraphernalia she had found inside the residence, stating that she wanted that and the boyfriend removed from the home.

During the course of the deputy’s investigation, three firearms were recovered. Two of those had been reported stolen. The deputy also recovered $2,000 in gift cards, multiple Louisiana driver’s licenses in various names, Sam’s cards belonging to other individuals and drug paraphernalia.

The boyfriend, Edward Bell (DOB 10/2/1977; 2824 Third Street, New Orleans) was taken into custody and booked into the St. Tammany Parish Jail on the following charges:

LRS 14:108 Resisting an Officer by Providing False Name
LRS 40:1023 Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
LRS 14:95.1 Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon (3 counts)
LRS 14:69.1 Possession of a Stolen Firearm (2 counts)

The following additional charges were added Wednesday (March 28) after STPSO Property Crimes detectives tied Bell to a vehicle burglary that occurred Jan. 25 outside a Mandeville-area fitness center:

LRS 14:62 Vehicle Burglary
LRS 14:67.16 Identity Theft (two counts)
LRS 14:71.1 Bank Fraud (two counts)
LRS 14:69B (4) Illegal Possession of Stolen Things

STPSO detectives are still working this case and believe Bell may be tied to other vehicle burglaries locally and in other states.

“There is no way to know how many crimes this deputy may have prevented by taking the initiative to secure these firearms and run them through our system, ultimately determining two of them were stolen,” Sheriff Randy Smith said. “Our deputies routinely respond to domestic calls, and these are some of the most dangerous for them. However, I applaud this deputy for going beyond the initial reason for the call and taking the extra steps he did that led to the arrest of this individual, which in turn cleared another case.”