Man sentenced to 20 years after West Bank burglary spree

10 home break-ins had Luling, Ama on edge

A Marrero man who was arrested after a string of burglaries that had the West Bank of St. Charles Parish on edge has been sentenced to 20 years in jail.

Christopher Watkins, 30, was arrested last June after police made a stop on a vehicle matching the description of that used in several home burglaries. Police say that Watkins had several items in his car that were reported stolen from homes in Luling and Ama. He also had pawn receipts, empty jewelry boxes, a stolen gun and a crossbow, according to the arrest report.

The burglary spree began during the middle of the day on Friday, May 10 when two homes were broken into. One of the homes was located in the 300 block of Monsanto Drive and the second home was in the 100 block of Lakewood Drive. Both homes were entered via a rear or side door.

Items stolen included a laptop, iPad and jewelry.

St. Charles Parish Sheriff Greg Champagne said that his office received a third report of a possible attempted break-in of a townhouse on St. Maria Drive on the same day.

On Monday, May 20, two homes in Mimosa Park were broken into between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. despite increased patrols in the area. One of the homes was in the 200 block of St. Anthony Street and the other was located in the 300 block of Wanda Street.

Three days later, four homes were broken into, three of which were located on Barton Avenue. There were also two attempted break-ins.

The last home burglary occurred in Ama.

In October, a district judge found probable cause to charge Watkins with 15 crimes, including 10 counts of simple burglary of an inhabited dwelling, three counts of illegal possession of stolen things over $500, illegal possession of stolen things over $1,500 and illegal possession of stolen firearms.

On Wednesday, Watkins pled guilty to three counts, including illegal possession of stolen firearms, illegal possession of stolen things over $500 and illegal possession of stolen things over $1,500.

In exchange for his guilty plea, the 11 other counts against him were dismissed.

Watkins was sentenced by St. Charles Parish District Judge Emile St. Pierre.

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