Trucker, retired cop indicted in car theft scheme

| 7/23/2002

A truckdriver was indicted last week for conspiring with a retired New Orleans police officer to haul stolen vehicles from Louisiana to Mississippi to be resold. The scheme allegedly cost insurers and the actual owners of the vehicles more than $58,000.

Thomas Johnson of New Orleans, allegedly transported three stolen vehicles to Mississippi and submitted false documents to get the vehicles registered to owners there. He then arranged to have the vehicles' titles sent to their purported owners at a mail box he rented.

Former policeman Wellington Beaulieu, pleaded guilty in April to conspiracy, admitting he used a police computer to erase the records of 20 stolen cars recovered in Louisiana so they could be resold in Mississippi. Beaulieu reportedly was paid $200 to $500 for each car he put on the black market.

His brother Ronald Beaulieu, a New Orleans police veteran who resigned in January, also pleaded guilty in April to failing to notify authorities that his brother used his police job to facilitate the scheme. Both men are scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 14.