The St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office has arrested a 29-year-old Waggaman man they believe could be responsible for up to nine home burglaries that took place in Luling and Ama in the last month.
At noon last Thursday, deputies and detectives who were part of a burglary task force made a traffic stop on a silver four-door compact car a day after an Ama home was burglarized. A similar car had been seen at the site of several burglaries in Luling.
The driver of the car, Christopher Watkins, was in possession of items stolen from an Ama home on Wednesday, June 5, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Authorities say they also found a stolen gun and burglary tools in the vehicle.
Watkins was originally charged with the Ama home burglary, but detectives say they have now been able to link him to two Luling burglaries – one of which occurred on Lakewood Drive and another that took place on Barton Avenue.
Watkins also had in his possession a cross bow that was reported stolen from a home in Waggaman, according to the police report.
Capt. Pat Yoes, spokesman with the Sheriff’s Office, said investigators are trying to determine whether Watkins was responsible for most of the burglaries that occurred in Luling in May.
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.
Witnesses reported seeing a white male in the area at the time of the burglaries who was with a short white female in a silver compact car. Champagne believes the woman acted as a lookout and getaway driver.
Watkins has been charged with three counts of the simple burglary of an inhabited dwelling as well as possession of a stolen firearm, carrying an illegal weapon, possession of tools for a criminal act, two counts of the possession of stolen property over $500 and possessing prohibited drug paraphernalia. He also had an expired driver’s license, wasn’t wearing a seat belt and his license plate was expired, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Yoes said the investigation into the burglaries is ongoing and that detectives are examining the crimes from multiple angles.