7-month long burglary circuit has targeted law enforcement, guns stolen from cars
BATON ROUGE – Department-issued law enforcement vehicles have been the target of thieves since the beginning of the year and detectives made significant breaks in the case over the last week, the WBRZ News 2 Investigative Unit learned.
According to a search warrant WBRZ obtained, detectives have been investigating a burglary circuit since January where crooks target law enforcement vehicles. In “numerous” heists, burglars break the windows of vehicles parked at homes and apartment complexes overnight. The thieves have stolen guns, ballistic vests, ammunition and other items.
In a recent case, a law enforcement vehicle was burglarized in a Jamestown development area of Baton Rouge off Perkins Road. Someone smashed the window of the cruiser and stole a ballistic vest. The smash-and-grab happened around 5 o'clock in the morning at the end of June.
Surveillance video recorded the theft, detectives said, which provided them a clear pictures of the getaway vehicle's license plate.
At the Zion City home of the teenager who drives the vehicle, investigators found stolen items stuffed into a large designer bag hidden in a backyard shed. According to East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's deputies assigned to the case, De'Jeffrey Johnson, 18, confessed to stealing the items and said he enlisted the help of his kid brother. Johnson said he and his 15-year-old sibling stole items from law enforcement vehicles and that they were part of the “Tadah Gang.” The “Tadah Gang” appears to be a ragtag group of rappers.
Additional charges could be added as the investigation continues, the sheriff's office said.
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