Multi-parish Theft Ring Arrest
A Pineville, LA man has been arrested by LaSalle Parish Sheriff Detectives for thefts occurring over a five-month period in central and southern parts of LaSalle Parish, according to Sheriff Scott Franklin.
Robert Steven Paul, 30, of Magnolia Lane, Pineville, LA turned himself in to LPSO authorities after his attorney was contacted and advised that arrest warrants for felony theft and conspiracy charges had been issued for Paul.
LPSO detectives began looking at Paul and another man, Ryan B. Juneau of Hessmer, LA as suspects in a theft that occurred on April 4, 2014, at the construction site of the new Trinity Baptist Church, just east of Jena, LA. A Bobcat skid loader and a 20-ft. trailer were stolen from this location. Evidence left at the scene led detectives to suspect Paul and Juneau, but the detectives were unable to secure warrants at that time.
As this investigation continued, on Aug. 23, 2014, another theft occurred on Prosperity Road off LA 28 in southern LaSalle Parish. Another Caterpillar Bobcat skid loader along with two attachments was stolen from a home site during the early morning hours. Detectives began matching the similarities of these two crimes which led them to crimes committed in other jurisdictions.
LPSO detectives began coordinating their investigation with Avoyelles, Rapides, and Sabine Parish authorities that were experiencing the same kinds of thefts. Detectives estimated the value of all the stolen property involved in the thefts from these jurisdictions to be in excess of $250,000. In every case, Paul and Juneau were suspected. By coordinating with these other agencies, LaSalle detectives were not only able to obtain enough evidence to arrest, but also to recover all of the stolen equipment from the two thefts occurring during this five month period.
Robert Steven Paul was arrested and charged with three counts of felony theft, 3 counts of conspiracy to commit felony theft, and illegal possession of stolen property in LaSalle Parish. Paul also faces felony charges in other jurisdictions as well. As of press time on Monday, October 8, 2014, Paul remained in the LaSalle Parish Jail on $50,000 bond.
“It has taken several months of investigative work to solve these crimes, and make an arrest,” he noted. “And we are glad that all the equipment stolen during this crime spree has been recovered and returned to the rightful owners.” “We take every crime committed in LaSalle Parish very seriously, and our investigators will leave no stone unturned in solving them,” he said.
Sheriff Franklin commended the outstanding work of these detectives in solving these crimes, noting that the investigation is ongoing and more arrests are expected.