The Calcasieu Parish Sherriff's Office recently took two men into custody on charges of theft. The two men, ages 17 and 18, allegedly stole a motor vehicle from a man's driveway in Vinton, Louisiana. Having been charged with a crime, each of the young men may now be facing serious penalties.
The theft of the Vinton man's motor vehicle happened sometime before he woke up. However, the vehicle was quickly found just a few hours later outside of a local bar. Deputies with the sheriff's office say that when they found it, there were $2,000 in damages to the vehicle and a number of personal property items, including a GPS device and an XM radio, were missing.
In a subsequent investigation regarding the theft of the vehicle, detectives arrested the 17-year-old and 18-year-old men based on the statements of witnesses. The witnesses said that the two were allegedly attempting to sell items from the truck. Police additionally state that when the men were arrested on Feb. 18, both admitted to stealing the vehicle.
However, supposed admissions to police are not always themselves admissible in court. This is because the admission may be the result of police coercion, or that they otherwise felt pressured to say they had stolen the vehicle. Moreover, statements of witnesses are not always accurate, and any criminal trial may call into question their validity. Anyone in Louisiana who is facing criminal charges may find it helpful to obtain a good understanding of their rights and options under the law. It could go a long way toward protecting their freedom.
Source: American Press, "Two charged with motor vehicle theft," March 9, 2012