Police believe suspects arrested part of crime increase in area

Published 1:49 pm Saturday, March 21, 2015

LAPLACE — A group of St. John teenagers are facing are facing burglary charges after their arrests this week, and authorities think they may be guilty of more.

St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office

St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office

The three arrests came after the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office investigated one burglary and one attempted burglary around Shearwater Drive in LaPlace.

Sheriff Mike Tregre said detectives arrested a 15-year-old and a 13-year-old, and booked them with simple burglary, simple criminal damage to property and attempted simple burglary.

Detectives then arrested another 15-year-old in connection to the burglary and booked him with principal to simple burglary.

The three juveniles have been released to the custody of their parents.

“Most recently, we have had an increase in burglary in that area,” Tregre said.

“We are trying to find a way to link them to the burglaries. We definitely think that this was not their first time.”

Tregre said the suspects are not acting in gang affiliations, describing them as juveniles acting up.

“They decided to attempt to break in and broke in one, and we have managed to recover some of the property — a mini iPad,” Tregre said.

On Tuesday at 6:15 p.m., deputies responded to Shearwater Drive following a report of suspicious behavior of a group of juveniles.

Responding deputies saw a group of juveniles matching the description of juveniles that the complainant provided.

“Deputies spoke with the juveniles, who told deputies where they lived,” Tregre said. “Having no reported criminal activity in the area, deputies allowed all the juveniles to go on their way.”

At 6:53 p.m., the complainant called back, stating a residence appeared to have been burglarized. The complainant told deputies he saw juveniles go to the rear of a residence while other juveniles stood by the front door.

“Moments later, all the juveniles walked from the residence with a box and backpack,” Tregre said.

“The deputy found a rear window of the residence broken. A concrete paver was thrown through the glass. The homeowner reported electronic equipment and a piece of jewelry stolen from the residence.”

At 6:54 p.m., deputies responded to Ibis Court after an attempted burglary.

When the homeowner arrived home, he found a glass panel on the backdoor broken. A brick was thrown through the glass. Entry was not made in the residence.

Investigators located three of the juveniles who deputies had spoken to earlier, Tregre said. The juveniles, along with their parents, met with detectives at the Criminal Investigations Division.

“The juveniles confessed to their involvements in the burglary and attempted burglary,” Tregre said.

Sgt. Dane Clement said authorities are not looking for any more suspects, but the investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office TIPS line at 985-359-TIPS or Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111. Those with information do not have to testify in court and may qualify for a cash reward.

Residents can also submit tips at stjohnsheriff.org/submitatip.php.

By Gladys Davis Mulkey