2 teens booked in rash of burglaries

Deputies arrested two juveniles following a rash of vehicle burglaries in the St. Amant and Acy areas, Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Tony Bacala said Tuesday.

Two 16-year-olds were arrested last week in the crime sprees following a two-month investigation, Bacala said.

Deputies booked each of the teens with nine counts of simple burglary, five counts of felony theft and six counts of felony damage to property.

More charges are expected, Bacala said, and detectives also are looking into a possible third suspect.

The investigation revealed items such as electronics and money were stolen from the vehicles that were broken into in the late night hours.

Other vehicles were stolen along with four-wheelers in the overnight hours.

The vehicles were later found submerged in a local canal near the victims’ homes.

“The common denominator found in this investigation, as in most investigations of this nature, is that the vehicles that were broken into were left unlocked,” Bacala said.

The keys were left in the vehicles and in at least one of the four-wheelers that were stolen, he added.

During the course of the investigation, detectives discovered one of the victims had video surveillance that recorded the two teenagers, who both live in the St. Amant area, Bacala said.

Detectives also learned that the teens have been arrested in similar criminal offenses in the past.

One of the teens recently was released from a juvenile detention center and placed on home incarceration.

The teen was released from home incarceration just days prior to the start of the burglaries and thefts in the St. Amant and Acy area, Bacala said.

Both teenagers also were arrested earlier this year for aggravated damage to property when they threw a rock at a passing motorist in St. Amant, causing the vehicle to crash, Bacala said.

The driver suffered severe injuries, but has since recovered, he said.

Bacala again warned residents to be mindful of locking vehicles and not leaving valuables in them.

“The criminals who commit these types of crimes usually do so during the late night hours in communities where the victims feel secure with their surroundings and leaving their vehicles unsecured,” he said.