Over the years I've known quite a few home-builders, re-modelers, cabinet builders and so on and quite a few of them have over the decades become very prosperous on the old adage of a third, a third, a third in business.

That is - a third of your costs are in materials, a third in labor and the last third is your profit.


Area Couple Schemes to Increase Profits By a Third

Well, we don't know exactly what their motivations were but on May 11th, the Calcasieu Parish Sheriffs Office arrested two individuals, Azucena Madrigal, 62 of Lake Charles and 30-year-old Joe Rojo of Pasadena, Texas.

What the story boils down to in essence is patrol deputies spotted a suspicious van from the Ham Reid Road area, where a number of residential construction sites have been recently burglarized.

The deputies found the van at a home on Aberdeen Drive, detectives arrived, knocked on the door, the homeowner allowed them to come inside to search the home. They saw numerous power tools and even a Whirlpool stove that had been reported stolen from one of the construction sites.


Remodeling Homes With Stolen Property

Detectives soon learned Madrigal owns several homes in the city currently being re-done. Madrigal allowed the deputies to search two of the homes on 4th and 6th street. The 6th street address yielded a number of new doors and windows valued at over $10,000 that Madrigal claimed to have been purchased for the remodels.

The deputies of course contacted the suppliers and local construction companies to learn all the items had been reported stolen from the construction sites.


The Actors Get All Ugly

After the finds at the 6th street house, Madrigal became uncooperative, so detectives acquired search warrants for two additional homes and found even more building materials and tools all of which have recently been reported stolen from the Ham Reid Road sites.

The recovered property is being returned to the contractors, the investigation is ongoing and more charges may follow.

Charges included possession of a stolen thing in excess of $25,000 for Madrigal and possession of a stolen thing between $5,000 and $25,000 for Rojo. Judge Guy Bradberry set both bonds at $25K.

Lee Byrne is leading the investigation for the CPSO