LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office is investigating a smash and grab that happened at Chaisson's Grocery on Claude Hebert Road in LeBleu Settlement.
The incident happened early on Saturday morning, around 4:00 a.m.
The crime involved the theft of three trucks in rapid succession - each of which was abandoned.
It was in the wee hours of the morning Saturday that smash 'n grabbers hit Chaisson's Grocery in LeBleu Settlement. There was extensive damage to the store and the counter when the first stolen truck was used to pull out a safe. Says store cashier, Shannon Smith, "It was a mess, a big mess. Had stuff everywhere. They were putting the doors back on the morning when I got there."
It's been anything but business as usual here since the smash and grab caused extensive damage. Says smith, "..No gas, can't use credit card, food stamp, None of that."
After the first stolen truck was used to pull the safe out, the truck ran off the road into a ditch. The driver then stole a second truck and Chief Deputy Stitch Guillory says the driver tried to go back and retrieve the safe tied to the first truck. "Got the safe out of the building. Was driving down the road. Lost control of the vehicle. Put the vehicle in a ditch with the safe still attached to it. This person stole another vehicle, went back and attempted to remove the safe from the other vehicle."
Later after a foot chase, yet a third truck was stolen. "A third vehicle was then stolen from a business on Bunker Road. That vehicle was also recovered but as of this date we have not made an arrest."
Guillory encourages all businesses to set alarm systems if possible and for everyone to keep an eye out for suspicious behavior: "If you own a business or a convenience store and you have an alarm it's very important that you engage that alarm because a lot of times that's what scares people off. When they break in a business and they hear alarms going off they tend to run away from that."
All three abandoned vehicles and the safe have been recovered. This was the sixth smash and grab investigated by Calcasieu Sheriff's Deputies since the string of similar crimes started in December.