Two teenagers arrested in connection to string of Union Parish burglaries

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UNION PARISH, La. (Press Release) - A 17-year-old has been arrested by Union Parish sheriff’s deputies in a series of vehicle burglaries in the Rocky Branch area, including one owned by a parish constable.

A 15-year-old male juvenile also was arrested in connection with the burglaries that included a number of guns taken from the constable’s vehicle and a neighbor’s vehicle on Acree Road. The juvenile is being held in the Green Oaks Juvenile Detention Center in Monroe. He was wanted in Ouachita Parish on unrelated charges, Sheriff Dusty Gates said.

The 17-year-old, Gregory Trace Connor, (Rocky Branch community), was booked Tuesday into the Union Parish Detention Center on seven counts of simple burglary of a vehicle and illegal possession of stolen firearms. His bond has not been set.

The burglaries were reported April 10 and a break came in the case when deputies investigated a suspicious person report in the 200 block of Rocky Branch Road on April 16. The deputies found Connor walking on the road. When questioned about what he was doing, Connor told deputies he had been visiting a friend, but could not remember the friend’s name. He was carried home by the reserve deputies answering the call.

The next day a local resident found a Marlin 22.-caliber Magnum rifle in a ditch in the 200 block of Rocky Branch Road and called the sheriff’s office. It was identified as one of the guns taken from the constable’s vehicle.

Gates said Connor was picked up and questioned about the vehicle burglaries and eventually admitted that he went along with the juvenile who took most of the items. The juvenile, when arrested at his West Monroe residence Tuesday, stated that it was Conner who had stolen all the guns and other items.

Other items taken from the constable’s vehicle included a Taurus 9mm handgun, a .38-caliber revolver, handcuffs, bullets and pepper spray. Five Glock pistols were stolen from a neighbor’s vehicle including two 9mm pistols, two .45-caliber pistols, and one .380-caliber pistol. Also taken from this pickup was more than $1,000 in gun accessories and $500 cash.

The juvenile told deputies that some of the items were traded to a Monroe drug dealer and three of the Glock pistols were recovered from that residence described by the juvenile, Gates said.

Many of the stolen items were found in the woods across the road from where the boys were staying the night of the burglaries. Connor told deputies that the burglaries occurred between 1 a.m. to 4 a.m. April 10.
Detectives reported that none of the vehicles were locked.