Livingston Parish, La (FOX44) — Wayne Lee thought it would be a nice gesture to buy a rock climbing wall for the kids at his church to use for family fun nights, but before the $10,000 wall was even used more than once, it was stolen, and according to deputies sold for scrap metal.
"They used it as a climbing wall and now they don't have one. That upsets me the most. Just watching them climb and have a good time. That’s taken away from them, for $50. A $10,000 toy, sold for $50 bucks at the scrap yard,” Lee explained.
The rock wall wasn't the only thing that lee was robbed of, but he said that was the hardest thing to swallow, saying it's just been too hard to break the news to the kids at church.
"No, I haven't had the heart to tell anybody yet. So I guess when they see this they'll know what's happened," Lee confessed.
Detectives with the newly re-organized burglary division in Livingston parish were able to quickly find and arrest the people responsible for stealing close to $100,000 dollars of property.
But they weren’t able to make the arrests before those responsible were able to dismantle the rock wall past the point of no return.
"It’s been cut in to small pieces and for safety reasons, it's gone. It’s just salvage," Lee explained.
Sheriff Jason Ard said one of the worst parts about this case is that the money gained from the scrap metal transaction was most likely going to pay off a meth habit.
"They were definitely stealing and selling this scrap to support their drug habits," Ard said.
The sheriff also said that property theft has been one of Livingston Parish’s biggest issues, and more often than not property thefts are linked to drug habits.