BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - DNA evidence obtained after a chase with police resulted in the arrest of three men believed to be connected to the theft of roughly 80 guns, as well as ammunition and other items.
The investigations started on June 9 at Bowie Outfitters on Perkins Road. Officers responded to an activated alarm and found the business had been burglarized.
"This manager advised that 32 firearms were stolen from inside of the business and three [suspects] were observed on surveillance cameras," the officer noted in the report. "These defendants were observed to be operating a Silver Jeep Liberty with a temporary tag displayed in the back window."
Officers located the vehicle on June 17 in a Baton Rouge tow yard. Investigators learned that the vehicle had been reported stolen to the East Baton Rouge Sheriff Parish Office on May 11. The victim, however, could not provide the proper paperwork, so it was never placed in the national database.
They found blue latex gloves inside the Jeep. The suspects in the surveillance video were seen wearing similar gloves.
"[I] submitted this blue latex glove to the LSP Crime Lab on June 18," the officer noted.
It took over a month for the results of that DNA test to return from the lab. In the meantime, another gun store was burglarized.
On July 6, BRPD officers were called out to Meaux Guns and Ammo on Mammoth Drive. Again, surveillance cameras captured images of three or four males entering the business. This time they got away with about 50 firearms, multiple boxes of ammunition, suppressors and bayonets.
"Some of these firearms are of a large caliber and/or special custom make," the officer noted in the report. "Also note the boxes of ammunition are labeled with white labels and had written prices."
On the same day, less than an hour before the Meaux Guns, Hebert's Guns in Gonzales was nearly burglarized. Video surveillance was captured and officers compared it to the footage collected at Meaux Guns.
"The suspects in both videos appear to be the same people," the officer noted. "[One suspect] can be seen wearing the same unique capri pants in both videos. Also, video from Hebert's Guns shows the [suspect] drop a pair of sunglasses, along with other items."
The sunglasses were submitted to the State Police Crime Lab.
The big break in the case happened on July 9. Police say Charles Evans, 19, refused to pull over when an officer attempted a traffic stop.
"The driver of the vehicle led officers on a vehicle chase after the officers attempted to pull him over for a faulty light," the report explains.
Evans and the two passengers in the vehicle were all arrested. The passengers were Geno Lyons, 23, and Oneal Thompson, 19.
"After the pursuit and after [the suspects were] in custody, several rounds of ammunition were found in [Evan's] pocket, as well as a box of .380 ammunition being found between the driver's seat and center console of [Evan's] vehicle."
The distinct price tag from the Meaux Guns burglary was also found on the ammunition in Evan's vehicle, the officer claims.
"In addition, the store noted they have not sold a box of that particular ammunition in over 120 days (it's not commonly purchased by their customer base due to the grain count of the bullet), and that several of those boxes of ammunition were stolen during the burglary. In addition, the lot number on the box matched that of the lot number of the boxes being sold in the store."
During questioning, Evans attempted to explain the ammunition by saying that he found it on the side of the road while walking on Perkins Road near Siegen Lane. Later, however, he reportedly changed the timeline for his story.
Evans' DNA was collected and compared to the sunglasses that were collected during the attempted robbery of Hebert's. Investigators say it was a match.
The day after the chase, the results of the DNA test from the blue latex glove was completed. Again, it was a match to Evans.
"[He] state that 'his people must of put that glove inside the Jeep,'" notes the probable cause report. "[He] later changed his statement to say that he was 'cleaning the Jeep.'"
Five days after his arrest, armed with a mound of evidence, investigators re-interviewed Evans. It was during this interview that Evans allegedly confessed to the burglaries and named the passengers during the chase as his accomplices.
Warrants were issued for the arrest of Lyons and Thompson. They were arrested the same day.