CRIME

Sheriff's office searching for copper thieves

Staff reports
Chet Lavigne

Ascension Parish Chief Deputy Tony Bacala reports that detectives are searching for two copper thieves that struck an Ascension Parish School in November.

On November 14, Lake Elementary School on Highway 431 attempted to turn on the central air to cool the gymnasium when they discovered that over 10 of their central air conditioning units had been stripped of the copper tubing causing extensive damage.

The estimated repair cost was nearly $10,000. During the course of the investigation, detectives searched local scrap dealers and found the copper tubing that was stolen from the school.

The local scrap dealer, cooperating with authorities, had captured the two suspects on video during the sell transaction of the copper.  Through the video Ascension authorities identified the suspects as 23 year old Chet Anthony Lavigne of 14052 Lavigne Road, Gonzales, and 41 year old Jamie Blaise Bourgeois of 41082 Busy Needles Road, Gonzales.

Lavigne and Bourgeois are wanted on charges of felony theft, felony criminal damage to property, and criminal trespassing in connection with the schools copper theft.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office at 225-621-INFO (4636) or Crime Stoppers at 225-344-STOP (7867).

Jamie Bourgeois