December 03, 2014  |  01:40 pm

Early Monday morning, business owners throughout St. Tammany Parish arrived at their shops and stores to find front windows broken and cash registers stolen from within.  Stores in Mandeville, Slidell and throughout unincorporated St. Tammany parish were affected.The Sheriff’s office and Mandeville and Slidell police departments quickly assembled a team of investigators to work the case.  Working together, the group identified a suspect within a few hours.

Investigators were able to determine that Gary Howes (765 Sylvan Dr, Baton Rouge – DOB: 3/16/1960), burglarized 14 businesses throughout the parish Monday night, stealing cash registers, cash and video surveillance equipment from the businesses.

Warrants for Howes’ arrest were prepared yesterday by various jurisdictions.

Howes was located this morning in Tallulah, Louisiana with the assistance of the Madison County Sheriff’s office.  He is being held there as a fugitive from St. Tammany.  Upon extradition, he will be booked in St. Tammany on multiple counts of business burglary.

Sheriff Jack Strain, Chief Randy Smith (Slidell) and Chief Rick Richard (Mandeville) issued the following statement:  “We are extremely proud of our agencies’ combined efforts to identify and apprehend this suspect so quickly.  Our residents expect and deserve a law enforcement community that works together for them, and that is exactly what we have in St. Tammany Parish.”

“As with so many cases like this one, our judicial system worked for our residents like a well-oiled machine,” Strain added.