Police: Transient criminals attempt St. Charles home break-in

Published 8:15 am Tuesday, August 12, 2014

By Stephen Hemelt

LULING — A levelheaded homeowner thwarted a potential robbery by speaking face-to-face with a man believed to be breaking into the home.

Sgt. Dwayne LaGrange of the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office said deputies believe the attempted break-in was a crime of opportunity by transient criminals since the suspects were not aware they were in Luling, believing at first they were in Jefferson Parish.

LaGrange said a resident in an apartment complex near Burch and Wanda street in Mimosa Park Subdivision confronted a black male subject at 8:30 a.m. Monday at the rear door to the residence after hearing the back door window shatter.

“The suspect responded that he worked for The Jefferson Sewer and Water Board and accidently broke the window while checking the water meter,” LaGrange said. “(The suspect) quickly changed his story to say that he was with the St. Charles Sewer and Water Board. The resident realized this didn’t make sense and indicated he was calling 911.”

The suspect quickly fled, and authorities said the homeowner also noticed a second black male at the east end of the apartment complex believed to be with the first suspect. The second suspect also fled on foot.

The Sheriff’s Office verified water works did not have anyone working in the area Monday morning.

The primary suspect was wearing a green construction or safety vest and is believed to be between 25- and 30-years-old and approximately 5’10” to 6’ tall.

“It is believed that the suspect used a pair of pliers left on top of a barbecue pit to break the window and attempt to enter the residence,” LaGrange said. “Although this appears to have been an isolated incident, we have had prior instances in the past where thieves wore safety vests to avoid suspicion (while) going in and out of yards.”

Anyone with information concerning the suspects or who may have home video surveillance cameras in the area are asked to contact Detective Joseph Dewhirst at 985-783-1135 or 985-783-6807.