Sheriff Mancuso: ‘I really think we can solve this case with the public’s help’

Sheriff Mancuso: ‘I really think we can solve this case with the public’s help’

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Thousands of dollars’ worth of laptop computers and iPads have been stolen from a local elementary school, and Calcasieu Sheriff Tony Mancuso said it’s likely someone will recognize the culprit caught on video.

It happened about 10 p.m., Feb. 13 at College Oaks Elementary School. The suspect, a man, is seen clearly on surveillance cameras at the school on Ernest Street in Lake Charles.

Mancuso is confident someone is bound to recognize the man, who they said left on a bicycle.

“It’s pretty good camera footage and I think it’s a pretty good picture of our suspect," Mancuso said. "That’s why I really think we can solve this case with the public’s help because I think someone’s going to recognize this individual and they’re going to turn him in and he may recognize it and understand that we’re going to come after him too and it’s time to pony up.”

Mancuso said it was four hours later which would be 2 a.m., Feb. 14, when the man was spotted trying to sell the items at a local restaurant on Prien Lake Road. The sheriff said it’s always better for suspects to turn themselves in.

“Number one, we don’t have to worry about anybody getting hurt in confronting him and worrying about if he’s dangerous or if he’s not. If we do find out who he is, if he’s got violent history, it may change the scope and the way we’re going to address him and deal with him,” Mancuso said.

Anyone who bought stolen items should also come forward.

“They are in possession of stolen items. Should we gather him up and he remembers who he sold them to and we go knocking on your door, you run the risk of possibly getting in trouble too,” Mancuso said.

Again, the sheriff urges the public to look closely and help them put a name to the face.

If anyone has any information regarding the theft or can identify the man seen in the photographs, please contact CPSO lead Detective John Coffman at 491-7992. If there is no answer, please leave a message and he will return the call as soon as possible.

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