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Trio goes on destructive and costly rampage, causing over $50,000 of damage to River Center

3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago Friday, June 21 2024 Jun 21, 2024 June 21, 2024 6:43 PM June 21, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - The trio who vandalized the Raising Cane's River Center Monday night reflect a trend police have seen recently. The group went on a destructive and costly rampage.

Javin Thomas, 17, is wanted for simple burglary and simple criminal damage to property over $50,000 -- both of which are felonies.

According to an arrest affidavit, two males and a female threw a brick through a lower-level door and gained entry into the building at 2 a.m. Tuesday. The three grabbed fire extinguishers and sprayed them through the halls. Once they made their way to the second floor, they threw the emptied extinguishers at six 80-inch television monitors worth about $5,000 each.

They may also have broken into some vehicles in the area, according to police records.

Baton Rouge police say they've seen more of this kind of activity recently.

"In the most recent days or weeks we have seen an uptick in a few incidents happening with vehicle burglaries and thefts that have been occurring," BRPD Spokesperson Darren Ahmed said.

The group then discarded the fire extinguishers and made their way to the arena area, where they "caused significant damage to several drink and vending machines." The three then fled as security began to investigate. 

Sgt. Ahmed said officers are working to control the recent crime sprees.

"We can't control the good from the bad, so whenever there are teens or adolescents that are acting against the law and violating crimes we can't pinpoint when and where that's going to happen, " said Ahmed. “But what we can do is keep data and stats on where these crimes are happening and we can beef up additional patrols to focus on those areas for more attention." 

Police records say the three were in the building for approximately 45 minutes. It's not clear how they went undetected for so long as they smashed glass, sprayed the fire extinguishers and banged on the televisions.

River Center general manager Wayne Hodes disputed the police account of how long the vandals were inside.

"Actually, it was more like 20 minutes they were in there before they got scared away, our security guard came in there and scared them away," said Hodes. 

Surveillance video showed that the intruders were wearing face masks, but investigators noticed they were without gloves, and identified Thomas from fingerprints on the fire extinguishers. 

Ahmed says parents have to keep a special eye on teens, who are at greater risk of getting into trouble when they are not in school.  

"We always ask parents to make sure you are accountable for your children, make sure you are aware they're befriending because sometimes you never know who they are associated with, that may be partaking in criminal activities."

Anyone with information is urged to call 344-7867.

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