Quick thinking homeowner's photo leads to arrest of Marlin burglar

  1. Editor
    When a Louisiana resident came home last week, they thought something was odd with the gray 2003 Hyundai Elantra parked in their driveway. They thought it was even stranger when a 25-year-old man she did not know came out her back door carrying a bunch of guns. What happened next was classic.

    The town

    Natchitoches Parish nestled in Northwestern Louisiana is a rural area known for its bountiful natural resources including Cane River Creole National Historical Park, Kisatchie National Forest, and Saline Bayou. In the far Western part of the parish is the village of Robeline, pop 183, which, since the railroad left in 1960, is noted for its speed traps and considerable wilderness. With that being said, it's no surprise that the area would be home to some pretty crafty crooks and some just as canny Marlin owners.

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    (Its always a good idea to take pictures of your guns just in case anything ever happens to them. Record the serial number as well. Its the only thing that can help you reclaim them if they are recovered.)

    The incident

    As reported by the Pineville Town Talk a homeowner near Robeline came home to find a Korean import in their driveway and a man popping out of their backdoor, toting guns.

    The man, later identified as 25-year-old Zachery Corbin Skinner of the 100 block of Branson Lane in Zwolle, quickly explained that he wasn't a crook but rather was playing a trick on a friend. While he went inside and put the guns back on the floor of the residence, the female homeowner snapped a few quick photos of the car-- to include the license plate.

    Skinner came back out and drove off. It was later that the homeowner found out that two guns, including a Marlin 30-30 lever-action rifle and a Browning BPS camouflage 12-gauge shotgun, were missing and made a phone call.

    The outcome

    Armed with the reliable information on Skinner, Robeline Assistant Chief of Police Wayne Ocon saw the man and his fuel-efficient compact car and made a stop. Skinner was taken into custody, and two firearms were confiscated. Following an investigation, it seems that he may have carried out similar "pranks" on other upstanding homeowners.

    He is currently facing charges while he sits at the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center, where he likely had his picture taken once again.

    How to protect yourself


    Remember, when not in use keep your firearms as secure as possible, ideally locked in a tamper resistant gun safe. For the worst-case scenario, be sure to write down your serial number, model and manufacture then put that information in a safe place. Taking photos for your records are also a good idea.

    Moreover, if you come home to find a strange car in your driveway, consider taking a picture of that as well. You never know.

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