LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – A spree of robberies and break-ins in a neighborhood near downtown Lafayette on the Evangeline Thruway is causing fear among residents.
After nearly a dozen burglaries occurred just in August, the residents of this typically quiet neighborhood came together to figure out what was causing this crime spree.
Many residents say it started the same for them.
“I woke up to go to work, and as I was walking out, I realized my whole vehicle was just totally gone,” Shea Simmons said.
“We wake up and realize that our car has been burglarized. Lawn equipment and a lot of my sculpture and art tools had been vandalized,” Marla Kristicevich recalled.
Knocking on neighbors’ doors, these residents realized it wasn’t just them.
“I started to realize it’s not just this little road. It’s this whole area around here,” Simmons said.
“It started to unfold that there was the fourth neighbor, the fifth neighbor, the sixth neighbor. We all came basically out together and just realized that you weren’t alone, that other people had footage, and they were sharing this footage with each other,” Kristicevich added.
This man was spotted many times attempting to get into people’s homes, even in broad daylight, on residents’ Ring cameras.
“We’re like family here. We’re working people. We have elderly folks. We all look out for each other. For somebody to just come in here and do that was frustrating,” Lambert Philips Jr. said.
After News 10 spoke with Lafayette Police, we discovered the man seen in the Ring camera video had been arrested and charged with several counts of burglary. Police said this man was responsible for the robberies.
While residents said they’re relieved he was caught, they are still concerned.
“I believe it’s deeper than just one guy. I believe there’s organized crime going on around here. I just want people to be careful because if you leave anything outside or anything like that or you’re just caught slacking off, they’re going to take advantage of it,” Simmons said.
He says this should be a lesson.
“Be weary of who’s around your house, who’s walking by constantly. People are looking. They’re not just looking to say you have a pretty house. No, they’re looking to see what you have,” he added.
The suspect, Michael Walker, is still incarcerated in the Lafayette Parish jail. He’s charged with seven counts of Simple Burglary and three counts of Identity Theft.