Ruston couple facing charges of burglarizing unoccupied home

Sharon Peralta mug shot courtesy of the LPSO/LPDC

By T. Scott Boatright

Two Ruston residents remained in the Lincoln Parish Detention Center Thursday night after allegedly burglarizing an unoccupied Lincoln Parish residence.

Sharon Schaefer Peralta, 56, of 611 S. Bonner St. in Ruston and James Martin, 41, of 453 Works Rd. in Ruston are both facing simple burglary charges with no bond set as of Thursday night.

Around 8:45 Wednesday morning the Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Office responded to a call concerning a burglary at 346 Pardue Rd. that reportedly had occurred around two hours earlier.

Upon arrival deputies talked with the complainant, who said that he owned the property but that no one currently lives there.

The complainant said he had received a call from a friend earlier that morning saying that while driving by the residence there was a light-colored SUV backed up to the house. The complainant’s friend said he turned around and went back to the house to see the SUV pulling out of the driveway and got behind the vehicle and wrote down its license plate number.

Deputies said the complainant showed them where the suspects had forced entry into the house and went through all the property inside and apparently tried to steal the air conditioning unit.

The complainant’s wife reportedly told deputies the whole house had been ransacked with all drawers and cabinets left open.

She reportedly said it was hard to tell exactly what had been stolen but that she knew a green box full of costume jewelry had been taken.

She told deputies that the house had not been in that condition when she and her husband left it on Saturday night. She also told deputies that the home’s screen doors had been screwed shut on Saturday to keep people out but had been pried open when they got to the home Wednesday morning.

During a search of the residence deputies found a small back of suspected methamphetamine on the kitchen floor that the complainant’s wife said was not there on the previous Saturday. The couple said a door on a small house on the property next to the main house had also been pulled open but that nothing was noticeably missing from that building.

After running the vehicle license plate number given by the witness deputies learned it was a 2011 Kia Sorento registered to Peralta.

Deputies went to that address and advised Peralta they needed to speak with her, and that she was advised of her Miranda rights, which she reportedly said she understood. Deputies said that when asked about the incident Peralta first said she and Martin, her boyfriend, had been house shopping earlier that morning that never went inside the home.

But deputies said she soon admitted to going into the residence and taking some items said that Martin never went inside the house.

Peralta then reportedly let deputies into her apartment, where they found Martin.

Martin allegedly initially denied all involvement before admitting to going inside the home with Peralta and taking the items.

Deputies said Peralta then turned over all items taken from the house and that she and Martin were both advised they were under arrest for simple burglary.

Both were reportedly questioned about the meth left at the residence but both denied ownership and were advised it would be sent to the crime lab in an attempt to lift fingerprints from the bag.

The pair was then transported to the LPDC without incident and booked.

James Martin mug shot courtesy of the LPSO/LPDC

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