Gonzales police arrest teen ‘thieves of opportunity’

A foursome of teenagers dubbed “thieves of opportunity” by Gonzales police have been arrested on accusations they stole at least 10 vehicles and took belongings from more than a dozen mostly unlocked cars in Ascension Parish over the past month.

Detective Sgt. Stephen Nethken, a Gonzales police spokesman, said the thieves would drive around in the early morning hours looking for unlocked cars or vehicles left running to defrost windows and windshields.

Sometimes, they’d find keys left in unlocked cars, Nethken said.

On Jan. 2, police arrested a 16-year-old boy after the stolen car he was riding in crashed into a Gonzales police unit. Questioning of the boy led investigators to others connected to the burglaries and thefts, Nethken said.

Deontre Joseph, 917 Carlos St., and Christopher Heard, 1310 E. Silverleaf Road, both 17 and of Gonzales, were arrested on Wednesday. Joseph was arrested on counts of theft of a motor vehicle, principal to theft of a motor vehicle, possession of stolen things, attempted burglary of a vehicle and damage to property. Heard was arrested on counts of possession of stolen things and resisting arrest, Nethken said.

Police also arrested two 16-year-old boys, whose names were not released, on several similar counts, Nethken said.