BATON ROUGE, LA — East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Deputies along with Armed Robbery and Burglary Division apprehended a man today for breaking into approximately twenty-three vehicles in the Central area between the months of May and August.
Justin Watkins, 20, of Baton Rouge is charged with 23 counts of Simple burglary, 17 counts of theft, 1 count of criminal damage to property and 2 counts of theft of a firearm.
Watkins is accused of burglarizing approximately twenty-three vehicles in the Oak Cluster, Bellingrath, Comite Hills, Comite Hills West and the Greenwell Springs Road area during the four-month period. He allegedly rode his bicycle around neighborhoods checking car handles for unlocked vehicles. All the vehicles burglarized were unlocked. Watkins primarily stole change, jewelry, sunglasses. He also allegedly stole two firearms from two different vehicles.
During the course of the burglaries detectives were able to obtain surveillance pictures of the burglar from different residents. In addition, deputies attended several civic association meetings and encouraged residents to contact the Sheriff’s Office if they witnessed suspicious activity. Yesterday evening detectives received several calls from residents concerning Watkins. As a result, detectives were able to locate and identify him. Once apprehended, Watkins admitted he was the person caught on video.
Sheriff Gautreaux and the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office would like to caution residents to be proactive in protecting their property by locking their vehicles and residences and not leaving valuables in plain sight.