The Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office has released the following statement:

Sheriff Sam Craft of the Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office announces the January 5th, 2020 arrest of Gilbert Stephens, age 23,of Anacoco.

The arrest is the result of an investigation into a theft of a custom built dog box that took place during the daytime hours on January 5th.

The victim contacted VPSO and indicated that while he was at church two male subjects came to his residence and loaded his dog box and drove away.

The victim's wife was at home and photographed the individuals and the suspect vehicle during the commission of the theft.

The victim sells these dog boxes so his wife was unsure as to whether the suspects were sold a dog box by her husband.

VPSO released the photographs of the suspects on social media.

Almost immediately the suspects were identified as Gilbert Stephens and a 17 year old male juvenile.

Based on information received from the public Deputies and Detectives began a canvas of the Burr Ferry area.

Detectives canvassing the area ultimately located the suspects and their vehicle on Ray & Sue Drive in the Hunter Town Road area.

The subjects were taken into custody without incident.

In the back of the suspect vehicle Deputies located 2 hunting dogs that were stolen from the same victim as the dog box theft.

The hounds had been taken around the date of December 24th - 25th.

Gilbert Stephens was arrested and charged with two counts of Theft, one count of Criminal Mischief, one count of Trespassing, one count of Criminal Conspiracy to commit theft, and one count of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Bond has not been set and Stephens remains in the VPSO jail.

The male juvenile was arrested and charged with two counts of Theft, one count of Criminal Mischief, one count of Trespassing, one count of Criminal Conspiracy to commit theft, and one count of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Bond has not been set. VPSO is attempting to place the juvenile in a secure custody juvenile facility.

The hounds and dog box was returned to the owner.