(Powhatan)-Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Detectives arrested two juveniles in connection with the burglary of Natchitoches Parish Fire Protection District #10 Fire Department and subsequent theft of a fire truck valued over $204,000 according to Natchitoches Parish Sheriff Stuart Wright.
Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a reported burglary on Jan. 18 around 7:35 pm at the Natchitoches Parish Fire Protection District #10 Fire Department in the 100 block of Hwy. 485 in Powhatan.
Deputies say while speaking with the fire chief, they learned forced entry had been gained into the fire department through a door.
Deputies learned that a red 2019 Ford F-550 brush fire truck with “Fire Protection Dist. 10 Powhatan, La.” gold emblems on both doors with a light bar, spotlight, and fire equipment bearing La. Public License Plate# 266061 was stolen.
Deputies processed the crime scene for evidence, gathered information for an offense report and entered the vehicle into the National Crime Information as being stolen. At that time, the direction of travel was unknown. Detectives assigned to the NPSO Criminal Investigations Division were notified.
A BOLO (Be On The Lookout) message was broadcasted to all local units and regional law enforcement agencies. Patrol deputies continued to look for the vehicle throughout the night but were unsuccessful.
The following morning the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office posted the story on social media and contacted media outlets requesting the public’s assistance in finding the vehicle. Within two hours, a concerned citizen contacted a Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Deputy reporting observing the vehicle abandoned behind an old home place off of Hwy. 3191. Deputies responded to the area. Shortly after arriving on scene, deputies confirmed recovering the stolen vehicle.
Detectives processed the vehicle for fingerprint and DNA evidence. The fire truck was released to Natchitoches Parish Fire Protection District #10 with no damage, however, it would require a total clean-up.
The Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office thanked social media followers for their assistance, however, the investigation continued.
The following day, NPSO detectives developed information that led them to two persons of interest. During the course of last week, detectives continued to follow-up on those leads and identify those individuals. Detectives made contact with the parents of two juveniles and arranged interviews at the NPSO Criminal Investigations Division.
As a result of those interviews and sufficient evidence, detectives arrested:
*11-year-old Juvenile charged with Simple Burglary, Felony Theft of the Fire Truck and Simple Criminal Damage to Property.
*14-year-old Juvenile charged with Simple Burglary, Felony Theft of the Fire Truck and Simple Criminal Damage to Property.
After the arrests both juveniles were released into the custody of a parent due to lack of juvenile holding space pending juvenile court appearances.
Detectives say following the theft, the juveniles drove the fire truck on La. Hwy 485 to I-49 near Allen. They turned around traveled southbound on Hwy. 485 and turned onto the Johnson Chute Road and traveled out to La. Hwy 1 north of Natchitoches. They then turned right on Hwy. 1 traveling southbound into the City Limits of Natchitoches turning right on Hwy. 3191 eventually ditching the fire truck behind the Old abandoned home place walking and eventually catching a ride.
Detectives Lt. J.Byles and Captain D. Winder investigated the case. The Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office thanks our social media followers and media outlets for their assistance in this investigation that led to the recovery of public safety equipment essential in saving property and the lives of citizens in the Natchitoches Parish Fire District #10 and Powhatan areas.