Louisiana Crime Ring That Targeted Bank Customers’ Cars Busted

January 20, 2015

Police in Lake Charles, La., say they have broken up a crime ring that would scout banks for people leaving with money, follow them, then burglarize their unattended vehicles.

The American Press reports that Lake Charles Police Chief Don Dixon discussed the allegations at a Friday news conference.

Dixon said three men and two women have been arrested and are suspected of carrying out similar crimes in Lafayette and in Beaumont, Texas.

Police began investigating in December. On Dec. 30, a person left a bank carrying $35,000, then traveled to a local business, leaving the money in the vehicle. A co-worker saw someone attempt to steal the money and chased after him. The thief dropped the money bag but got away.

“Based upon the incident, some videotape and a description of the subjects, we pretty well knew who our subjects were through past dealing with them a couple of years ago,” Dixon said.

The five arrested in Lake Charles are suspected of stealing around $170,000, Dixon said, although that number could be higher because some thefts were reported as car burglaries with no mention of the fact that the victims had left the bank prior to the incident. The group is believed to have committed five similar burglaries in Lake Charles, four in Sulphur, five in Jennings, and a “dozen or more” in Lafayette, Dixon said. As much as $20,000 and $17,000 have been taken in individual crimes, he said.

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