Copper wire theft arrest made, one man still at large

Staff reports

Ascension Parish Chief Deputy Tony Bacala reports that one Geismar man has been arrested and another remains at large in connection with the theft of copper wire. As the cost of copper has reached an all time high welding leads is a hot commodity as thieves steal the leads, melt the insulation and sell the copper as scrap to 2nd hand dealers.

On the evening of January 7, 2012 Deputies responded to an alarm at a local rental company in Geismar. The investigation revealed that entry was made into the business and a large quantity of welding leads had been stolen and hidden in a nearby wooded area, Bacala said.

A stakeout was conducted into the night time hours when the surveillance team observed two subjects return to retrieve the stolen welding leads. When the team converged on the two they fled into the woods.

Donnell Anthony Bates, 23, of 11064 Conner Road Geismar, Louisiana 70734 was captured and charged with felony simple burglary and theft. He is currently incarcerated on a $45,000 bond set by Judge John Peytavin.

The 2nd suspect, Reginald Dechavin Brown, 38, of 11066 Conner Road Geismar, Louisiana 70734 remains at large. 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).    

Following the arrest of Brown and Bates the surveillance team continued their stakeout at the same business. Shortly after midnight the team observed two occupants in a vehicle park at the rear of the rental company. As the two parked they noticed one of the surveillance team units in a wooded area at which time they fled and a vehicle pursuit ensued. The vehicle was subsequently stopped and the two occupants, Levell Green and Dante Hester, were taken into custody after a short struggle with Hester. During questioning both admitted they were in the process of burglarizing the business.

Levell Green, 21, of 9311 Water Tower Lane Convent, Louisiana was arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit felony theft, criminal trespassing, and aggravated flight from an officer, and illegal carrying of weapons (burglary tools). He is currently incarcerated on a $30, 565.00 bond set by Judge John Peytavin.

Dante Hester, 20, of 8544 St. Landry Road Lot #67 Gonzales, Louisiana was arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit felony theft, criminal trespassing, aggravated flight from an officer, illegal carrying of weapons (burglary tools) and resisting an officer. He is currently incarcerated on a $30, 847.50 bond set by Judge John Peytavin.