Deputies arrest several suspects for allegedly breaking into 100 cars - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Deputies arrest several suspects for allegedly breaking into 100 cars

By Tyana Williams - bio | email

DENHAM SPRINGS, LA (WAFB) - A total of ten people have been arrested on burglary and drug charges in connection with at least 100 car break-ins in at least two parishes. Livingston Parish deputies say they even busted one of the men red-handed on Valentine's Day.

Many of the burglaries happened in very average neighborhoods with nice homes, cars parked in driveways, and toys in the yard. Glennwood Estates and Easterly Lakes in Livingston Parish are two of the neighborhoods that were targeted. "For about three weeks been having a rash of burglaries in Watson," said Jason Ard with the Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office. "Some in central Baton Rouge and also in southern part of Denham."

Livingston deputies say both areas were the target of several thefts. "He was in cul-de-sac just watching all the cars, been there for hours," said Tracie Morgan. She says she and another neighbor noticed a suspicious car Friday just sitting for hours in cul-de-sacs around their neighborhood, so she confronted the driver. "Told me, ‘Don't worry about me, I'm a private investigator. Just don't pay attention to me.' I'm letting everyone know I'm okay," said Morgan. 

Following calls from Morgan early Saturday morning, a Livingston Parish deputy spotted a car riding slowly through Easterly Lakes subdivision in the Watson area. The passenger door was also opened, so the deputy pulled the car over. Inside were 36-year-old Kenneth Ray Allen and 20-year-old Sean Chopin. "He notices there's a lot of items that don't really belong, like women's purses," said Ard. The men told the deputy they were waiting on 21-year-old Robert Conner. Deputies say when they found Conner he was in the middle of burglarizing a car.

Ard says in this case, the burglaries all started out the same with people living in nice neighborhoods leaving their car doors unlocked. "Laptops, iPods, car stereos, purses, wallets, guns," added Ard. Deputies say this is not Conner's first run-in with deputies. He was arrested in 2006 and kicked the window out of a sheriff's unit. 

The arrests of those three led deputies to seven others, people who deputies say knowingly bought the stolen items in exchange for drugs. Ard says this is one of the bigger busts for the sheriff's office. He says it's another reminder to people to lock their car doors and put their expensive possessions out of sight. Neighbors are now planning to start a neighborhood watch.

For a complete list of those arrested and their charges, click here

Left to right, top to bottom; Courtesy: LPSO - Robert Conner, Kenneth Allen, Sean Chopin, Bryan Conner, Bethany Green, Donald Newland, Julie Newland, John Peters, Krystal Tilley, Susan Wingate 
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