POWHATAN, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Two juveniles have been arrested and released into the custody of their parents in connection to the theft of a Natchitoches Parish fire truck.
Natchitoches Parish sheriff’s detectives responded to the burglary of the firetruck on Wednesday, Jan. 18 at approximately 7:35 p.m., when the Natchitoches Parish Fire Protection District #10 Fire Chief told investigators that forced entry through a door had been used to gain access to the fire department.
After processing the crime scene for evidence, deputies were able to determine that a red 2019 Ford F-550 brush fire truck, with gold emblems on both doors stating “Fire Protection Dist. 10 Powhatan, La,” was taken from the 100 block of La. Highway 485 in Powhatan. The truck was equipped with a light bar, spotlight, and fire equipment and was bearing La. Public License Plate # 266061.
The crime scene at the station was processed for additional evidence, and the vehicle was entered as stolen. The NPSO Criminal Investigations Division was notified, a BOLO (Be On The Lookout) message was broadcast, and patrol deputies looked for the vehicle throughout the night. The next morning, the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office contacted media outlets to request the public’s assistance in finding the vehicle and posted the story on social media.
Within a few hours, the NPSO was contacted with the location of the abandoned vehicle and deputies recovered the stolen fire truck. It was processed for fingerprints and DNA evidence and released to the Natchitoches Parish Fire Protection District #10 with no damage, though it did require extensive cleaning.
NPSO detectives followed up on leads until they were led to persons of interest. Detectives then made contact with the parents of two juveniles, at which time interviews were arranged at the NPSO Criminal Investigations Division. The interviews and evidence gathered resulted in an 11-year-old juvenile being charged with simple burglary, felony theft, and simple criminal damage to property and a 14-year-old juvenile being charged with simple burglary, felony theft, and simple criminal damage to property.
Investigators have concluded that following the theft, the fire truck was driven on La. Hwy 485 to I-49 near Allen, then turned around and taken southbound on La. Hwy 485 before being driven down the Johnson Chute Road and out to La. Hwy 1 north of Natchitoches. Turning down La. Hwy 1 and traveling southbound into the City Limits of Natchitoches before turning right on La. Hwy 3191, the fire truck was eventually ditched behind an old, abandoned home place.
Detectives Lt. J. Byles and Captain D. Winder investigated the case.
Both juveniles have court appearances pending.