APSO busts men in Prairieville’s $20,000 scrapyard sting operation

Courtesy of Modern Metals Recycling

PRAIRIEVILLE, La. – A local business owner is praising the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office for busting two real-life Grinches for allegedly stealing from his scrapyard during Christmas.

Beau Brian, who owns Modern Metals Recycling on Airline Highway, said he became suspicious when materials started to disappear before the holiday. Then, he received an anonymous tip that someone was stealing from his Prairieville location. That’s when he says he started closely monitoring surveillance footage.

“We started watching the video on camera and saw folks breaking in at night … four or five times a week,” Brian told UWK.

On December 22, Brian contacted the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office, and detectives LeBlanc and Price were assigned to the case. Brian worked alongside the detectives and tracked the thieves for over a week before setting up a sting operation to bust the thieves.  

“We left copper wire, which is what they were after …. they were jumping over [the fence] and parking down the road,” Brian recalled.

To catch the criminals in action, APSO posted their men in the scrapyard and added cameras so detectives could watch from their cell phones and alert them to any activity. Brian and the detectives watched the cameras nightly for over a week. 

On Dec. 28, detectives were alerted to a suspicious vehicle at the scrapyard. Detective LeBlanc logged in and saw the cameras going off. He called the units, and when they arrived at the yard, the suspects took off on Airline Highway headed towards Baton Rouge.

APSO said they pulled the vehicle over and arrested the driver, Jermaine Wright. The passenger, Dryan Dupre, fled the scene and was later apprehended by Baton Rouge police. He was later arrested and booked in East Baton Rouge Parish Prison before being transferred to Ascension Parish.

In all, the thieves got away with an estimated $20,000 worth of scrap metal, according to Brian.

Modern Metals Recycling recovered less than half of the material stolen and believes the rest was re-scrapped. Brian said the suspects even set up an LLC so they could get paid faster when they re-sold the copper. Without a business license, people legally can’t get paid cash on the same day, and it can take a week to process payment.

“They worked their tails off to catch these guys,” Brian said. “It makes you feel blessed to have a sheriff’s office like APSO that looks out for business owners in the area like they did.”

The Ascension Parish Sheriff is equally proud of his team for cracking this case. 

“I’m extremely proud of the exemplary work exhibited by our detectives in swiftly solving this theft investigation,” said Ascension Parish Sheriff Bobby Webre. 

“They truly exemplify our unwavering dedication to preserving the safety and security of our residents here in Ascension Parish,” the sheriff added.

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