LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) – Several warrants have been issued in vehicle burglaries in Calcasieu Parish involving out-of-state suspects who traveled to Southwest Louisiana to commit the crimes, authorities said.
Calcasieu Sheriff Tony Mancuso said during a news conference Wednesday that 46 vehicles were burglarized at three locations.
Two suspects out of Houston are wanted in connection with a March 8 incident at Planet Fitness on Ryan Street in which eight vehicles were burglarized.
Another suspect out of Houston is wanted in connection with a March 23 incident at Cotton’s Bingo Hall in Vinton in which 36 vehicles were burglarized.
Three Florida men are wanted in connection with two vehicle burglaries at Sulphur Parks and Recreation on March 24.
Detectives believe there are more suspects are in burglaries at Planet Fitness and Cotton’s Bingo Hall. The investigations are continuing and more arrests are likely.
“It is important to remember to lock our vehicles, and I am glad that our community has been proactive in doing this,” Mancuso said. “But it is also just as important to make sure we don’t leave any valuables in plain sight in your vehicle. In all of these cases the suspects can be seen peering into the vehicles to see if there are valuables inside before breaking the windows or doors.”
Vehicle windows were broken or door handles damaged as the suspects stole numerous items including purses, wallets, laptops, and backpacks, according to a news release sent out by the Calcasieu Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Kim Myers in conjunction with Mancuso’s news conference.
Myers said detectives identified Anthony Carmichael, 21, of Houston, as a suspect after he was seen on surveillance video purchasing a gift card with one of the victim’s credit cards at a Lake Charles store. The gift card was then used in the Houston area. Calcasieu detectives traveled to Houston and identified another suspect – Kevin B. Wallace, 21, of Houston – with the help of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office and the Houston Police Department Westside Nightshift Crime Suppression Team.
Judge Sharon Wilson signed arrest warrants for Carmichael and Wallace on March 27. Carmichael faces eight counts of simple burglary of a vehicle; seven counts of simple criminal property damage; eight counts of theft; and one count of unauthorized use of an access card. His bond is set at $46,000. Wallace faces seven counts of simple burglary of a vehicle; seven counts of simple criminal property damage; and four counts of theft. His bond is set at $53,000.
Thirty-six vehicles were burglarized around 9:30 p.m. Suspects broke windows, stealing guns, wallets, purses, jewelry, and backpacks.
Detectives saw a man driving a white Nissan Rogue exit his vehicle and use a tool to break the windows of the cars, Myers said. Detectives were able to obtain a license plate number on the car and learned it headed into Texas a short time after the burglaries.
Police in Rayne and Crowley are working vehicle burglaries possibly involving the same white Nissan Rogue. Investigators with the Crowley Police Department called Calcasieu detectives on March 27, saying that they had been in contact with the Houston Police Department, which had stopped the Nissan Rogue. The driver, Daniel White, of Houston, was arrested on unrelated charges.
Calcasieu detectives interviewed White in Houston, Myers said. White said he was in Louisiana on the day of the burglaries, but said he did not want to answer any other questions without consulting at the attorney.
Judge Sharon Wilson issued a warrant for White’s arrest on March 29. He faces 36 counts of simple burglary; 36 counts of simple criminal damage to property; 13 counts of theft under $1,000; two counts of theft of a firearm; and theft from $1,000 to $5,000. His bond is set at $430,500.
The windows of two vehicles were shattered and belongings were stolen.
Myers said a white Tahoe was seen on surveillance video pulling into the parking lot next to the burglarized vehicles. A man got out of the Tahoe and ran up to the vehicles.
Property belonging to one of the victims was found in a white Tahoe involved in a police pursuit on March 26 with police in League City, southeast of Houston.
Three men from Fort Lauderdale, Florida have arrested: Maurice Ellis, 29, Travis Ward, 29, and Zachary Brooks, 21, all of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Myers said Calcasieu detectives were told by the League City PD that the three suspects were tied to the “Felony Lane Gang,” from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and are known to travel interstates targeting gyms, parks, recreational centers, and parking lots for vehicle burglaries.
Judge Clayton Davis signed arrest warrants for Ellis, Ward, and Brooks on April 2. Each faces two counts of simple burglary; two counts of theft less than $1,000; and two counts of simple criminal damage to property less than $1,000. Their bonds are all set at $21,000.