Three held in Tri-Parish vehicle burglaries

Three suspects from Eunice were arrested in a string of vehicle burglaries, and a fourth man is being sought, announced representatives from St. Landry, Acadia and Evangeline sheriffs offices during a press conference Tuesday.

Arrested were Andres Enrique Ariza, 19, of 1530 Lawrence St. and Jean Marshall Arabie, 19, of 129 Jeanne St. and Dusty Frugé, 19, of 127 Lee Rd., all of Eunice.

Frugé was charged with 13 counts of simple burglary, eight counts of felony, three counts of theft and two counts of theft of a firearm.

Ariza and Arabie were both charged with three counts of principle to simple burglary and two counts of principle to felony theft.

Arabie starred as St. Edmund High School’s quarterback in 2008 when the team went undefeated in its regular season.

An arrest report has also been issued for Joseph Edward Heinen, 19, of 550 West Park, for one count of principle to burglary, principle to theft of generator and theft by fraud.

According to St. Landry Sheriff Bobby J. Guidroz, Heinen is believed to be serving in the military. Guidroz said that the military has been alerted as to his arrest warrant.

St. Landry Sheriff Deputy Rick Leger said that the charges stem from numerous vehicle burglaries, all from unlocked vehicles.

Eunice Police Detective Robert Brickley said the investigation received a huge break after a report that one of the suspects had been bragging about stealing a weapon from a fire chief’s vehicle.

That turned out to be the fire chief from Basile, Brickley said.

Over 80 percent of the items stolen in St. Landry have been recovered, Leger said.

Guidroz said the suspects are believed to be responsible for 16 to 18 burglaries in the tri-parish area, and that $15,000 to $20,000 of stolen merchandise has been recovered.

Acadia Parish Sheriff’s representative, Sgt. Chad Gibson, said that four burglaries in Acadia Parish have been connected to this case, but warned that “a host” of other burglaries remain unsolved.

Evangeline Sheriff Eddie Soileau said that his parish had had several vehicle break ins, with theft of money and firearms.

All of the break ins involved unlocked vehicles, the sheriffs said.

Gibson urged people to lock their vehicles, and not to keep expensive items in their vehicles.

“I know we tell people that their vehicle is an extension of their home,” Gibosn said, “But we’re urging people not to leave anything valuable out in plain sight.”

“It just acts as an invitation. It’s 100 percent profit for them and 100 percent loss for you,” he added.

Guidroz hailed the arrests as an example of multiple law enforcement agencies working together to solve crimes.

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