Lake Charles, LA –


On February 8, Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office Vehicle Crimes Investigative Unit detectives responded to a local business on Highway 1133 in Sulphur in reference to the theft of a catalytic converter from a company vehicle that was parked at the business.


During the initial investigation, detectives viewed video surveillance and observed a white U-Haul truck pull into the parking lot and park next to the company vehicle.  Detectives then observed the driver exit the truck and disappear off camera for a short time before getting get back in the truck and leaving.  Further investigation revealed the truck left arrived at a local scarp yard approximately 30 minutes later.  Detectives learned the passenger in the U-Haul, later identified as Erin L. Caples, 41, Lake Charles, attempted to sell the stolen catalytic converter, but when the owner of the scrap yard observed the driver of the U-Haul to be Victor P. Assunto, Jr., 44, Sulphur, he rejected the sale and alerted law enforcement due to Assunto being previously banned from the scrap yard.   


On February 10, Assunto was arrested on unrelated charges.  When detectives spoke with him, he confirmed he was responsible for stealing the catalytic converter.  He also confirmed to detectives, Caples attempted to sell the converter since he was banned from the scrap yard.  Assunto was charged with theft of a catalytic converter and Judge Tony Fazzio set his bond at $50,000. 


On February 15, detectives issued an arrest warrant for Caples, signed by Judge Tony Fazzio in the amount of $7,500 for illegal possession of stolen things $1,000 to $5,000.  If anyone knows her whereabouts they are asked to call CPSO at 491-3605.       


CPSO VCIU Detective James Jones is the lead investigator on this case.  


An arrest is an indication that probable cause exists to believe the subject was involved in the offense alleged.   A person is innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.