Deputies catch suspected car wash thief in the act; believe he's connected to other car wash burglaries

Deputies catch suspected car wash thief in the act; believe he's connected to other car wash burglaries
Gene McCauley (Source: Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office)

PRAIRIEVILLE, LA (WAFB) - Authorities said they caught a man in the act of burglarizing a car wash and suspect he is responsible for several other similar crimes.

The Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office reported Gene McCauley, 39, of Prairieville, was arrested on May 31.

Chief Deputy Bobby Webre with APSO said deputies responded to an alarm at Galvez Carwash on LA 42 in Prairieville and heard someone inside the business using a grinder to get into the money boxes.

He added McCauley was then seen on the roof after climbing through a hole he had cut. Webre said McCauley refused to get off the roof and went back into the building.

According to Webre, McCauley later threatened to jump from the building, so deputies climbed a ladder to get to the roof from the outside and arrested him after a brief struggle.

Investigators reported McCauley had about $400 in quarters and $179 in bills on him when he was arrested. They added a search of his home turned up steroids and drug paraphernalia.

APSO said it believes McCauley could be connected to five similar burglaries at Galvez Carwash and Sail Away Carwash over the past few weeks.

He was booked into the Ascension Parish Jail on charges of simple burglary (6 counts), felony damage to property (6 counts), felony theft (6 counts), criminal trespass (6 counts), Schedule III controlled dangerous substance (5 counts), drug paraphernalia, and possession of burglary tools.

His bond is set at $151,500.

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