Couple says surveillance cameras and social media helped solve h - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Couple says surveillance cameras and social media helped solve home burglary

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

It was a fairly typical morning at the home of Paul and Margaret DeStout, in the historic district of Lake Charles, until barking dogs awakened the couple. Margaret went into her kitchen where she came face to face with a man, stealing their things.

"I was yelling at him in his face, basically saying, 'Drop my stuff! Drop my stuff! Get the hell out of my house!' " she said.

She chased the man out the door and all of it was caught on home surveillance video which she says was provided to Lake Charles police.

"We were able to quickly review and determine where he had come from, how he had entered the home," said Margaret. "It was valuable information for us, specifically on the suspect, what he was wearing and which direction he went."

They attribute the quick arrest and recovery of their items to a prompt and diligent response by police.

"They took it seriously, they took what happened to us seriously, and they went out and got the guy," said Paul.

They also credit social media where the video and information was shared, which resulted in nearby neighbors identifying and reporting a bag containing stolen items.

"I think it's absolutely amazing," said Paul. "Yesterday we got over 150 shares. It was a couple thousand people seeing what happened to us in a matter of hours, which at no other time would we be able to make that happen."

With the arrest of a 19-year-old, the DeStouts believe their crime is solved. They urge others to get surveillance cameras, be more vigilant and talk to  neighbors.

"Social media played a huge role, not only in getting our stuff back but in catching this guy, so everybody is making more of an effort to get to know your neighbors to help each other," said Margaret.

The DeStouts have also improved their own security measures since the thief entered through an unlocked door.

Lake Charles Police confirm 19-year-old Christopher Josiah Thomas is the man arrested in connection with the burglary at the DeStout's house. He's booked into Calcasieu Correctional Center on charges of simple burglary and theft.

Copyright 2017 KPLC. All rights reserved

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