LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) – Authorities said 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. 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, where 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, where 36 cars were stolen. Three Florida men are wanted in connection with two vehicle burglaries at Sulphur Parks and Recreation on March 24.
Detectives believe more suspects 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 ensure 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 cars to see if valuables are 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, 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. As a result, Calcasieu detectives traveled to Houston. They 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 cars 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 could obtain a license plate number on the vehicle and learned it headed into Texas a short time after the burglaries.
Police in Rayne and Crowley are working on vehicle burglaries possibly involving the same white Nissan Rogue. Investigators with the Crowley Police Department called Calcasieu detectives on March 27, saying 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 did not want to answer any other questions without consulting 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 stealing from $1,000 to $5,000. His bond is set at $430,500.