Overloaded minivan leads to arrest of storm drain thieves
WALKER, LA — On January 26, 2012, at approximately 9:00 p.m., a LPSO Criminal Patrol Deputy on Lockhart Road near Crystal Lakes Subdivision noticed a 1995 Dodge minivan “low riding” in the rear as if it was overloaded with something other than people.
The Deputy also noticed that the only working headlight was “pointing up into the trees.” A traffic stop was made, stolen metal grates were recovered, and four thieves were arrested.
Christy D Morgan, 29, the driver, Kierra Jackson, 19, John Louis Morgan III, 19, and Johnny Dale Marbury III, 19. All four were charged with one count of Felony Theft.
The Deputies recovered six metal storm drain grates weighing approximately 250 lbs each and valued at approximately $300 a piece. The two men in the back of the minivan were covered with mud and rust stains matching the stolen metal drain covers. Current scrap value of the metal grates is about $28.00/each ($230/ton).
Deputies determined the stolen items were taken from Crystal Lakes Subdivision. This same subdivision had been hit by grate thieves in December 2010 resulting in more than $12,000.00 worth of thefts. Deputies are attempting to determine if the two incidents are connected. Thefts of this type are not only expensive but also pose a significant danger to both adults and children who drive and walk on these residential subdivision streets.
As of Friday January 27, 2012 at11:30 a.m. all four suspects remain in the Livingston Parish Detention Center in lieu of a $10,000.00 bond.