CAMPTI-A traffic stop by an observant Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Deputy near Campti on Thursday evening near Campti has led to the recovery of a stolen all-terrain vehicle and arrest of a Red River Parish man according to Natchitoches Parish Sheriff Stuart Wright.

On Thursday evening March 4 at approximately 11:30pm, Deputy Kelvin Samuel assigned to the NPSO Patrol Division was patrolling on US-71 near Campti when he stopped a black 2014 GMC Sierra pulling a trailer loaded with an all-terrain vehicle for a traffic violation.

During the traffic stop, deputies identified the operator of the vehicle as 21-year-old John Benjamin Hickman IV of Coushatta, La.

Deputies say while speaking with Hickman, he gave conflicting statements concerning the all-terrain vehicle and he could not provide ownership documentation.

Deputies ran the ATV vehicle identification number through the National Crime Information Center learning the 2021 Honda Ranger TRX420 with a winch and other accessories valued at $9000 had been reported stolen to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office on February 4, 2021 in a theft in the 1200 block of La. Hwy 494 south of Natchitoches according to Sheriff Wright.

The owner had recently purchased the ATV just days prior to the theft.

As a result, deputies arrested:

John Benjamin Hickman IV, 21, of Coushatta was transported and booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center charged with Illegal Possession of Stolen Things valued over $5000.

Hickman remains in the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center awaiting bond.

Deputies sent a truck and trailer to the scene to recover and transported the stolen ATV to a holding area at the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center until the owner could make arrangements to pick it up.

The investigation into the stolen ATV and other reported stolen ATV’s in Natchitoches Parish is active an ongoing according to the NPSO Criminal Investigations Division.

We have seen an increase in stolen ATV’s and dirt bikes in recent months according to NPSO Criminal Investigations Major Reginald Turner.

We ask the public to secure ATV’s, dirt bikes and lawn mowers at their homes/camps and not leave them in plain view to criminals that are targeting them in the late night hours not just in Natchitoches Parish but all over central and northwest Louisiana parishes.

NPSO Detectives ask that you document serial numbers to all of your valuable items. As in this case, the serial number ran through the National Crime Information Center after it was provided by the complainant during the initial theft report and entered by NATCOM 911 Operators led to the recovery of the stolen ATV.

Sheriff Wright commends Deputy Kelvin Samuel for an outstanding job during the past month, his ability to be alert, observant and recognizing that something was just not right has led to the recovery of three all-terrain vehicles and arrests of three theft suspects.

If you see something out of the ordinary or just not right, say something contact the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office at 352-6432 or your local law enforcement agency. It’s always a good practice to give the descriptions of suspicious persons/or vehicles to law enforcement it aids responding units in what to look for.

Stay Alert to Suspicious Activity in your communities.