FRANKLIN, LA (WAFB) - Investigators said thousands of dollars worth of stolen items have been returned to their rightful owners, with some of the property being recovered from a canal.
The St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office said Damien Hale, 23, of Franklin was arrested and faces the following charges:
Felony theft (2 counts)
Theft (2 counts)
Possession of stolen things
Detectives said they received three reports of merchandise being stolen from the Franklin area on August 26 and soon identified Hale as the suspect wanted in connection with the thefts. They added neighboring law enforcement agencies were notified to be on the lookout for him and he was arrested by the Berwick Police Department on August 30.
Deputies reported finding Hale's truck in the Patterson area and while collecting evidence near it happened upon hidden items near the tree line. They said they found things like fishing gear and tools, which matched the descriptions of the items reported stolen.
Detectives said they later received information that Hale had reportedly thrown some stolen items in the Yokely Canal in Franklin. Divers were sent into the canal on September 4 and fished out tools, a shotgun and other items reported stolen. They have not yet figured out who the shotgun belongs to, but are working on it.
According to investigators, a total of more than $4,000 worth of stolen property has been recovered and most of it has been returned to the owners. Detectives said they have linked him to another theft and believe there may be more victims not yet identified.
The investigation into the thefts is ongoing.