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Two accused of stealing construction site equipment to remodel homes in Lake Charles

Posted at 4:13 PM, May 17, 2019

An investigation into numerous residential construction site burglaries has led to the arrest of two people in Lake Charles.

The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office says that they were called to investigate a suspicious van that had been seen in the area of a residential construction site that had been the recent target of recent burglaries.

Detectives located that van at a residence on Aberdeen Drive and made contact with the homeowner who allowed them to search the property. There, detectives say they located power tools and a Whirlpool stove that had been reported stolen from construction sites in the area.

The department says that later in the investigation, it was learned that 62-year-old Azucena Madrigal of Lake Charles, owned several homes in the area that were being remodeled with possibly stolen items.

Azucena Madrigal and Joe Rojo / Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office

Madrial was located at her residence on 8th Street in Lake Charles along with 30-year-old Joe Rojo of Texas. After speaking with detectives, a search of two of her two homes, located on 4th Street and 6th Street in Lake Charles, was conducted. There, deputies say they found numerous new windows and doors valued at over $10,000, being stored inside.

When asked about the windows and doors Madrigal advised detectives they had been purchased to remodel her homes.

Detectives say they then contacted the construction companies where the doors and windows were from and learned they had all been stolen from several different residential construction sites in Lake Charles.

After the search of the home on 6th Street, deputies say that Madrigal became uncooperative and detectives obtained search warrants for two additional homes owned by her, located on Rose Street and Pryce Street in Lake Charles.  After a search of both residences detectives located numerous building materials and power tools that had been stolen from various residential construction sites in the south Lake Charles area.

Detectives say they also located a commercial grade zero turn lawnmower that had been reported stolen out of Texas.

Madrigal and Rojo were both arrested and booked into the Calcasieu Correctional Center.  Madrigal is charged with possession of stolen thing in excess of $25,000 and Rojo is charged with possession of stolen things $5,000 but less than $25,000.

Bonds were set at $25,000.

The recovered property that was found is currently being returned back to the contractors.

The investigation is ongoing and more arrests and charges may follow.