Multiple Burglaries in Tullos Solved Quickly by Authorities
A rash of burglaries of several businesses and a church in Tullos was quickly solved by law enforcement officers. Three men, in possession of the stolen items, were apprehended in Winnfield, LA, according to LaSalle Parish Sheriff Scott Franklin.
The burglaries occurred during the early morning hours of Monday and Wednesday, June 17 and 19, 2013. Tullos Chief of Police, Leland Guin, along with other LaSalle Parish Sheriff’s Detectives, was notified early Monday morning that the First Baptist Church in Tullos had been burglarized. Detectives found that individuals had pried open a window, entered the main sanctuary, forced open the locked door of the pastor’s study and stolen approximately $800 in cash and an acoustic guitar.
Calls then began to flood in about other burglaries and attempted burglaries around Tullos. Detectives discovered that persons had also burglarized the Tullos Bar and the Tullos Storage Buildings located on Hebert Street, and a shop building owned and operated by Chadco Oilfield Company on NAPA Drive in Tullos. The individuals had pried open the doors and locks on all of these businesses stolen items from each of them.
Detectives also received calls about attempted burglaries at the Tullos NAPA Auto Parts Store and the new Dollar General Store, both located on NAPA drive in Tullos. Evidence of tampering and prying on the doors and locks of these buildings was found.
On Wednesday, June 19, 2013, LPSO Detectives received another call reporting that the Tullos First Baptist Church Youth Building had also been burglarized. Evidence, found at the scene, indicated that three suspects were involved. Detectives used this evidence to narrow the investigation.
Later that evening, detectives received a call from the Winnfield Police Department. Winnfield officers had detained three LaSalle Parish residents, whose vehicle contained suspected stolen items. LPSO detectives then met with Winnfield Police officials in Winnfield, LA. It was apparent that the items these men possessed were the items stolen from Tullos, LA. The three suspects were identified as Justin D. Peppers, 24, of Olla, LA, Thomas E. Herles, 21, of Tullos, LA, and Avery P. Williams, 18, of Olla, LA.
Detectives determined that these men did commit all of the burglaries and attempted burglaries in the town of Tullos on June 17 and 19, 2013. All three men were arrested by Winnfield Police for illegal possession of stolen things. LPSO detectives then obtained arrest warrants for each of them for the following crimes:
1. Simple burglary of a religious building, 2 counts;
2. Simple burglary, 3 counts.
3. Attempted burglary, 2 counts.
As of press time, Monday, June 24, 2013, the three remain in custody in Winnfield awaiting transportation to the LaSalle Parish Jail.
Sheriff Franklin commended all the officers involved for their dedication and rapid action. “Burglaries cannot be tolerated, especially when they involve houses of worship,” Franklin said. “Our officers had already done an outstanding job in collecting evidence to identify the suspects, and then they got a tremendous break in the case from Winnfield police. We appreciate the cooperation we have with our neighboring law enforcement agencies. Working together, we can help make the entire area safer for our citizens,” Franklin said.
“Again, a tip from a private citizen helped to close this case as quickly as it happened,” he said. “I can never stress how important it is for our citizens to be aware of what is going on around them, and if they see something suspicious, call authorities.” “Many of our cases, including drug cases, have been solved with the help of concerned citizens. I want to commend everyone who doesn’t mind getting involved and notifies authorities when they see something that isn’t right,” he continued.
Through the use of LEADS On Line, an investigative system that provides information from pawn shops to law enforcement, LPSO Detectives were able to recover the remaining stolen items.