A 24-year-old Luling man who was tracked down by a K-9 officer has pleaded guilty to two counts of simple burglary.
Joshua Bychurch was apprehended shortly after a senior citizen on Barton Avenue awoke to find a man inside her house last May. The woman startled the burglar, who fled the scene.
St. Charles Parish sheriff’s deputies arrived at the woman’s home and used a K-9 to establish a trail from the rear of the senior’s home to a residence nearby where Bychurch lived. The woman later identified Bychurch as the burglar.
Police say they were also able to tie Bychurch to a car break-in that occurred earlier that day in Coronado Park in Luling. The resident whose car was burglarized told police that he saw a white male flee from his car and jump into a Ford Taurus.
When deputies executed a search warrant at Bychurch’s home, they found items that were reported stolen from the car in Coronado Park.
Bychurch was sentenced to five years in jail, but the sentence was deferred. A deferred sentence is one that is suspended until after a defendant has completed a period of probation. If the defendant fulfills the probation, a judge may then throw out the sentence and guilty plea.
Bychurch was put on active probation for three years.
This wasn’t the first time that the K-9 and his handler helped crack a case, St. Charles Parish Sheriff Greg Champagne said. Last year, the duo assisted State Police in sniffing out several pounds of marijuana and a semi-automatic firearm from a drug trafficker passing through the parish on I-310.