Divers recover $4,000 in stolen property from bottom of canal; suspect arrested

Photo provided by the St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office.
Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - 2:15pm

Over $4,000 in property was recovered from the bottom of canal in Franklin by divers. The items were located while deputies investigated a series of burglaries that happened in the area.

The St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office reports that the investigation began on Aug. 26 after they received three complaints in the Franklin area. Detectives identified Damien A. Hale, 23, as a possible suspect and alerted neighboring agencies to be on the lookout.

Several days later the Berwick Police Department arrested Hale after he allegedly committed a probation violation. They then notified St. Mary deputies that he was in custody.

At the same time, detectives were able to locate Hale’s pick-up truck in the Patterson area. They searched the surrounding area and located several items that seemed to be hidden. They included fishing gear and tools and matched descriptions of items that had been reported stolen during the burglaries in Franklin.

Acting on information provided to detectives, a dive team was sent in to search the nearby Yokely Canal. They were able to recover more tools and items that had been reported stolen during the burglaries.

Most of the items have been returned to their rightful owners. However, they located a shotgun and have not yet identified the owner.

Hale was arrested and charged with Simple Burglary, Felony Theft (2 counts), Theft (2 counts) and Possession of Stolen Things.

Officials say the investigation is ongoing. They have possibly linked Hale to a fourth theft and believe there may be additional victims who have not yet been identified.

Click here to view more pictures from the recovery of the stolen items.


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