On April 12, 2012, Detectives with Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Department were able to dismantle a theft ring and recovered a total of five ATVs, four zero turn lawn tractors, one utility trailer and one Arctic Cat side-by-side ATV. Detectives found David Crader from Eunice Louisiana, in possession of two ATVs, which were reported stolen from two separate residences in Evangeline Parish. Detectives were able to identify another person of interest associated with the ATVs, who led detectives to the recovery of two zero turn lawn tractors, reported stolen from Evangeline Parish and an Arctic Cat side-by-side ATV reported stolen from St. Landry Parish. A joint investigation between Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Department, St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Department and Louisiana State Police Auto Theft Division led investigators to Baton Rouge, Lavonia and False River, where numerous items stolen from Evangeline Parish were recovered. The information received led Detectives to Travis James Soileau from Grand Prairie Louisiana. Detectives were able to determine that Travis Soileau scoped the residences, in Evangeline Parish, then with the assistance of two juveniles, would remove ATV’s and lawn tractors from the property of the unsuspecting owners. Soileau would then transport the stolen machinery outside of Evangeline Parish, where it would be resold. Warrants for the arrest of Travis Soileau have been issued for seven counts of burglary, eight counts of felony theft and 16 counts of contributing to the delinquency of juveniles. Soileau is currently incarcerated in St. Landry Parish and is awaiting transfer to Evangeline Parish for said charges. Additional charges are pending the outcome of the investigation and additional arrests are probable.
Sheriff Eddie Soileau would like to remind citizens to properly secure their equipment and to contact his office with information about illegal activities and to report all suspicious activity to his office. He said all callers will remain anonymous.