Multiple agencies partner on south Louisiana theft investigation

Staff Report

Ascension Parish Sheriff Bobby Webre reported arrest warrants have been issued for three suspects believed to be involved in the theft of numerous pieces of heavy equipment, farm equipment and trucks.

According to a news release, the equipment and vehicles were reported stolen from multiple parishes in south Louisiana from Nov. 8, 2021, through Feb. 16.

Christopher Byerly, 42, of Broussard, Robert Brazell, 37, of Lafayette, and Dennis Sizemore, 50, of Lafayette, will be charged with felony theft of motor vehicle, felony theft, and conspiracy to commit upon their arrest, an APSO spokesperson stated.

On Feb. 24, detectives with the APSO Property Crimes Unit were advised by the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office that deputies with their agency located a stolen tractor from Ascension Parish.

Through further investigation, APSO detectives confirmed the tractor was connected to a theft incident in November 2021.

Through further investigation and communication with area sheriff’s offices, detectives learned of an illegal operation where Brazell, Byerly, and Sizemore would alter the serial numbers of stolen equipment and sell the stolen equipment to individuals and auction yards.

On Feb. 16, the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office located and arrested Christopher Byerly. Detectives with APSO have learned that Sizemore was booked into the Lafayette Parish Jail and Brazell was booked into the Williamson County Correctional Center in Texas.

All three suspects await extradition to APSO and other agencies throughout Louisiana respective to this ongoing investigation.

More arrest and charges related to this investigation may be pending, according to the release.

Agencies involved in the investigation include: Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office, Broussard Police Department, Lafayette Police Department, Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office, Vermilion Parish Sheriff’s Office, Acadia Parish Sheriff’s Office, St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office, St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office, Louisiana Attorney General’s Fugitive Task Force, and Louisiana State Police.

In a separate news release, Livingston Parish Sheriff Jason Ard said, "Just because you cross jurisdictional lines doesn’t mean you won’t get caught. We will catch you. We all have great working relationships with our fellow law enforcement partners and this case is a testament to that hard work, communication, and dedication to the communities we all serve.