Property theft on the rise in parish

Published 10:32 am Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Washington Parish has seen a rise of theft reports from residences both vacant and occupied. 

Many thieves are targeting residences when they know the homeowners are away.  Often the thieves will come to a residence in the middle of the day and blow their vehicle’s horn or knock on the door to determine if anyone is home. Sheriff Randy Seal is requesting the public to be aware of any suspicious vehicles and persons not generally seen in a neighborhood and report these sightings. 

Any property or dwellings that appear vacant have also recently been targeted by thieves searching for scrap items. These thieves will locate such a property and can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage just to steal enough scrap items to generate a $50 to $60 profit in selling the items as junk.  

 ATVs and Zero-Turn Lawnmowers tend to be another hot ticket item for thieves. Citizens should take precautions to keep such items secured and locked and possibly under camera surveillance.

Another precaution the public is asked to take is to avoid leaving valuables inside cars. There was a total of five vehicle burglaries and/or criminal damages recently reported by citizens parking their vehicle near a river and returning to find someone stole items from their vehicle or caused damage.  

The Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office is taking measures in countering these incidents and bringing those responsible to justice. Collaboration with the public and other surrounding agencies is always essential for any policing organization.   

Some recent activity and arrests in the parish includes:

• On June 19, Deputy Kevin Bond responded to a call from a property owner of a Dairy Barn on Chess Bankston Road. The property owner observed a vehicle backed up in the middle of the day on his property. After investigating that complaint, Bond arrested Justin Wallace for attempted theft and criminal trespassing. 

• On June 19, criminal investigators, along with the Drug Task Force, arrested Anthony “Spuds” Lee and Rodriguez Daniels for felony possession of stolen property for being in possession of a stolen A.T.V. from Walthall County, Mississippi. Arrest warrants were obtained for their arrest following a joint investigation with the Walthall County Sheriff’s Office. Other charges could be forthcoming on this crime duo that may clear other theft related incidents. 

• On June 18, Capt. Tommie Sorrell investigated a burglary occurring on South Columbia Street in Bogalusa. Many items, including appliances, were stolen from a residence. Sorrell located the stolen items and followed the clues left behind by the criminals, which led to the arrest of James A. Casey for possession of stolen property. The other suspect was identified as Keith Rodell Jones, who was apprehended by the Bogalusa Police Department and arrested on a Traffic Attachment and for being in possession of drug paraphernalia. Jones remains in the Bogalusa City Jail, but he will be arrested on an active warrant for simple burglary once he completes that jail sanction. 

Criminals have kept investigators busy, especially during the summer months, when crime rates often peak. Investigators are asking anyone with information pertaining to the whereabouts of Nathan Womack to call the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office at 985-839-3434. Callers may remain anonymous. Womack is wanted for simple burglary for his suspected role in breaking into a shed in the Mt. Hermon area.  

Investigators are also asking anyone with information pertaining to the malicious damage to a house undergoing renovations on David Drive in Franklinton in May to also please call.