Trio charged with stealing heavy equipment parts
Thanks to a ring of local burglars, a lot of heavy equipment has turned up at Christmastime with batteries not included.
Detectives with the Webster Parish Sheriff's Office and Minden Police have arrested three persons in conjunction with thefts of heavy equipment batteries in Webster and Bossier parishes.
Robert Michael Byrd, 24, of McArthur Street, Dixie Inn, was arrested on warrants for simple burglary, simple theft, illegal possession of stolen things over $1,500 and two counts of burglary of a motor vehicle.
Dililah Danielle Brinkman, 24, of McArthur Street, Dixie Inn, is charged with simple burglary, accessory after the fact, illegal possession of stolen things over $1,500 and two counts of burglary of a motor vehicle.
Ronald Delaney Hays, 42, of McArthur Street, Dixie Inn, was arrested for obstruction of justice and accessory after the fact to burglary.
According to Webster Parish Sheriff's Capt. Dustin Reynolds, more charges are pending on all three.
Reynolds said the case has been unfolding for several days, beginning November 18 and the sheriff's department became involved when a report of theft of batteries was filed by a local construction company on Allen Drive.
"The suspects were taking batteries and selling them," Reynolds said. "A couple of nights later, inside the city limits, the same thing happened."
While investigating the first thefts, WPSO detectives Scott Tucker, Barry James and Reynolds discovered "quite a few" batteries were sold in Shreveport.
"We already had warrents on Byrd and Brinkman for a different case where they had taken some tools in September from a construction business on Hwy. 371 north of Dixie Inn," Reynolds said.
MPD Det. Sgt. Keith King said batteries were stolen from a tractor business inside Minden city limits shortly after the burglary in the parish.
Surveillance equipment at the tractor business was reportedly key in identifying the suspects, and King was reviewing tapes when Tucker contacted him.
"Tucker asked me if our people were driving a minivan, and I told him that was what I was seeing on the tape," King said. "So, Tucker said they knew who they were and were headed to Dixie Inn to get them.
On November 20, WPSO detectives, King and Lt. Dan Weaver with MPD reportedly went to the McArthur Street residence in Dixie Inn with warrants.
"Byrd and Brinkman hid inside the house," Reynolds said. "We arrested them – she was in a closet and he was in the attic. We interviewed them and subsequently, they confessed to committing the burglary in the parish, the one in Minden and one in Bossier Parish."
Hays was arrested at the residence, also, and batteries from the tractor business in Minden were located on the property.
"I had warrants already, so we served ours at BDCC (Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Center)," King said.
The detective said stealing the batteries was a lot of work for little return.
"They only got about eight dollars per battery," said King.
Webster Parish Sheriff's Chief Deputy Bobby Igo said the two law enforcement agencies worked well together to solve the case.
"It helps when you work together," said Igo. "It was solved quickly and passively."