Rental property owner fights back after second burglary

Noel Ranson (L), Hollis Clark (R)
Noel Ranson (L), Hollis Clark (R)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The holiday week wasn't very festive for 80-year-old Lawrence Duncan after he learned his rental property had been burglarized the day before Thanksgiving; but after having to sit idle for the entire weekend, Duncan fought back Monday, and it paid off.

Duncan's renovation job on his rental property has been anything but smooth sailing.

"Went in my attic cut out my wires in the attic, got kitchen sink and took it, took two of my ladders out of my house," said Duncan.

Duncan discovered his property had been damaged and ripped off for the second time last Wednesday. On Monday Duncan paid a visit to two local scrap yards including Louisiana Scrap Metal in Port Allen, he just didn't think he would get a call as quickly as he did.

"I got on the bridge heading to Baton Rouge and I got a call and they told me to come on back and they said I think I got your stuff and I was so happy about it," added Duncan.

Before he could even back home, West Baton Rouge Parish deputies arrested Noel Ranson and Hollis Clark charging both with possession of stolen property.

Lieutenant Ken Albarez of the West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office credits Duncan and the scrap yard for working together and pulling the plug on an all too common crime.

"If something doesn't look right and again some stuff is actually legit but for the most part when they call us nine out of 10 if it smells like a rat, it is a rat," said Albarez.

Duncan will struggle to renovate his property for a third time and come to grips with the more than $10,000 he says he's lost in repairs but adds the peace of mind he gets from the arrests will help lighten his load.

"What he'd done to me he probably did to many others and so he needed to be caught so I thank God I was lucky enough to catch him," said Duncan.

Baton Rouge Police have also been contacted because the rental property was in Baton Rouge. The two men could face more charges.

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