The LaFayette Police Department is cautioning residents to take the easiest proactive step against theft by regularly locking your vehicle at home or when running errands.
There are as many as six teenagers (who know each other) under investigation in the different incidents, some of which are committed by different combinations of the teens, according to Capt. Stacey Meeks.
“We’ve arrested several of them (recently) for curfew violations and prowling … ,” Meeks said. “These kids are out there just trying to steal anything they can get their hands on and are targeting vehicles that are unlocked.”
Several vehicles were hit Oct. 15-19 in west and north LaFayette neighborhoods.
“We’ve begged people to lock their doors, but some don’t seem to listen,” Meeks said.
Some of the thefts are occurring while the children have been remanded to their parent’s custody for previous thefts, as ordered by juvenile court, according to Meeks.
On Sept. 21, two men (Ricky Sweet and Julian Uvalle) were arrested for six thefts from automobiles. One vehicle had more than $1,000 in items stolen, but they have since been recovered as a result of the arrests.
They targeted a small area near to their residence on Duke Street.
More recently residents of Brown Estates on East Reed Road have reportedly experienced seven vehicle break-ins.
“We have strong suspects in some of these cases,” Meeks said. “Right now we don’t have enough to make a charge on them (juveniles), but we are continuing with follow up investigations and searches in certain areas.”
Meeks is confident that more arrests will be made.