Jan 27, 2012 12:04 AM by Maddie Garrett

Victims Knew One of the Two Suspects Arrested in Home Invasion

In Lafayette Parish, a mother and her four children are resting easier Thursday night, after police arrested two men accused of locking the children in a closet during a home invasion. What's more, one of the suspects used to be a family friend.

Aimee Bristow and her four children said they're trying to get back into the swing of things. They've been on edge for almost two weeks after a break in while the kids were home alone at their house in Scott.

"It does take a big weight off your shoulders to know that they're gone, they're away, they won't be back right away," said Bristow.

Scott Police arrested James Leblanc and Brian Veronie Thursday morning, charging the pair with burglary and four counts of false imprisonment.

"A home invasion is bad enough, burglary is bad enough, but to put four kids in the middle of a situation, as innocent kids as they are, there's some damage there," said Scott Police Chief Chad Leger.

But Bristow said she was more shocked to find out one of the suspects, Veronie, was a former neighbor and friend. She said she hadn't seen or heard from him in over a year.

"He had come into the home and helped us do home repairs, he had been in here with the neighbor that did babysit. It's shocking, it's scary, it's hurtful," she said.

Bristow said they feel safer now, and comforted, after the community reached out to her family. A security company donated a new alarm system and a local store even donated meat to the family, after the suspects stole their supply out of the freezer.

"I don't know, I don't have words for it. I didn't expect that at all, but it was very, very generous," said Bristow about all of the support.

Police are also charging Veronie with felony theft, after connecting him to a crime from a month ago. He's accused of stealing copper wiring from a Scott home.



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