Two teens arrested for burglaries

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 26, 2009

RIDGECREST — Two local teens were arrested following an alleged weekend burglary free-for-all at three locations, including a church, according to a statement from the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office.

The 14-year-old boys were charged with two counts simple burglary, one count aggravated burglary, one count property damage, two counts felony property damage and criminal trespassing.

Investigators believe the two started their crime spree Friday night at the Ridgecrest Baptist Church and the Handi-Pak convenience store, the statement said.

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The two allegedly entered the church by using a concrete block to break a rear window, and allegedly moved an empty safe from the secretary’s office to another location in the church.

The pair also allegedly stole keys from the pastor’s office and sprayed a fire extinguisher inside the church’s fellowship hall.

The spraying of the fire extinguisher reportedly included the inside of the church’s refrigerator.

A window in the church van was also broken.

Handi-Pak employees reportedly found the store’s windows shattered Saturday morning, and when Concordia Waterworks No. 2 employees arrived at work Monday they found the building vandalized.

The damage to the waterworks building included three broken windows, two broken doors, a toilet and a water fountain torn from their moorings and shelving — along with its contents — knocked to the floor.

The building’s sheet rock was damaged by the running water, and a fire had reportedly been set on the concrete floor.

Ridgecrest Baptist Church members staked out the building Saturday afternoon, and the two teens allegedly returned to the church. One of the teens was reportedly carrying a gun.

When they realized the church members were there, one of the teens fled the scene, but the other waited until deputies arrived.

Investigators believe the Saturday afternoon incident was the third time for the teens to enter the church, the statement said.

Damage to the waterworks building and at the church is estimated to be in the thousands of dollars.