Three people were recently arrested for the theft of oil and gas equipment in LaSalle Parish, according to Sheriff Scott Franklin.
On Tuesday, April 2, LPSO detectives responded to a report of unknown persons leaving an XTO Oil Corporation lease in the Nebo area, suspected of stealing oilfield property.
Detectives and patrol officers responded and located the vehicle – a black Dodge Durango pulling a utility trailer – on Hatcher Road near Jena. Officers noticed several items on the trailer that were consistent with use in the oil and gas industry.
The occupants of the vehicle – Crystal C. Wiley, 32, Dannielle M. Baker, 37, and John L. Curry, 39, all of Jena – were detained and questioned about their recent whereabouts and the items on the trailer. All responded that the items were found on the side of the road.
A representative from XTO Oil Corporation was contacted to come to the location to inspect the items. The representative verified XTO ownership of the items.
The occupants of the vehicle were placed under arrest and transported to the LaSalle Parish Sheriff’s Office for booking. The suspect’s vehicle and trailer, along with the contents, were secured as evidence in this crime.
The suspects were charged as follows:
Crystal C. Wiley was charged with expired MVI, driving under suspension, trespassing, contempt of court and theft of oil and gas equipment.
Dannielle M. Baker was charged with trespassing and theft of oil and gas equipment.
John L. Curry was charged with trespassing and theft of oil and gas equipment.
Bond was set on Wiley and Baker at $2,500 each; both posted bond and was released. Bond on Curry was set at $5,000; he was placed in custody and transported to the LaSalle Correctional Facility in Urania for hold by the Louisiana Department of Probation and Parole.
Sheriff Franklin commended the officers involved in the case for their quick work in solving this oilfield crime. He also expressed appreciation to citizens who noticed this suspected crime and notified authorities.
“We will not tolerate the theft of equipment from the oilfields in LaSalle Parish and will investigate every lead given to us on thefts,” Franklin said. “The oilfield industry provides the livelihood for hundreds of local citizens and we will do everything in our power to protect the investments made by the oil companies in our parish.”
“We encourage anyone who sees anything suspicious in the oilfields to report it to our office immediately,” he said. “Our officer’s quick response to this report led to the arrest of three people and the recovery of the items they had taken.”