GONZALES, LA — Gonzales police have arrested four people in connection with a rash of vehicle burglaries that occurred in residential neighborhoods between Dec. 16, and Jan. 7.
Two 16-year-old juveniles were arrested, and their names are being withheld. Together, they are facing charges of four counts of vehicle theft, one count of possession of stolen things, one count principal to motor vehicle theft, and one count of resisting arrest.
The third suspect is Christopher Heard, 17, of Gonzales. He faces one count of possession of stolen things and one count of Resisting arrest.
The fourth suspect is Deontre Joseph, 17, of Gonzales. He faces two counts of theft of motor vehicle, two counts of principal to theft of motor vehicle, one count of possession of stolen things, one count of damage to property, and one count of attempted burglary of vehicle.
Several vehicles were stolen during the stated timeframe, and various items were taken from other vehicles.
Gonzales patrol officers caught one of the juveniles while he was in possession of a stolen vehicle. He attempted to escape after hitting a police car.
He was later apprehended, and his arrest assisted detectives in identifying the three others involved.
So far, nine of the stolen vehicles have been recovered. Several of them had signs of intentional damage.
According to police investigation, the four chose targets of opportunity. They rode around the city between midnight and 5:00 a.m. looking for vehicles that were unlocked, left running to defrost or warm up, or that had keys left in them. The suspects then allegedly took items from these vehicles or stole the vehicles.
Police advise residents not to leave their cars unlocked or leave the keys inside.
The investigation is ongoing, and police say the suspects may face additional charges.