Teen curfew will be strictly enforced this summer

Sheriff sent out warning after rash of car burglaries in Boutte

May 17, 2012 at 10:19 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

A day after 12 cars were burglarized near apartment complexes on Woodland Drive in Boutte last Wednesday, Sheriff Greg Champagne sent out an email alert warning residents about the parish’s curfew law.

Champagne said that every vehicle that was burglarized was left unlocked and that the crimes likely occurred after midnight. He said that investigators are fairly certain the crimes were committed by juveniles living in the area.

"Folks, we really need you to help us help you by locking your cars at night no matter where you live and taking your valuables out," Champagne wrote in an email to residents. "We expect this type of property offense to worsen once schools break for the summer.

"While our school kids are 99.9 percent good kids, there are the small few that will have no parental supervision and do things like this. Car break-ins have become a ‘fad’ crime among juvenile delinquents and adult criminals everywhere."

According to parish law, any minor under the age of 17 is prohibited to drive or play in parks, playgrounds or other public grounds between the hours of 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. The only exceptions are if the minor is accompanied by a parent or guardian or on an emergency errand directed by his parent or guardian.

"Both minors (under 17) as well as parents can be held responsible," Champagne said. "Be advised that we will be deploying plainclothes deputies out at night to strictly enforce this ordinance."

Fines for violating the ordinance can run as high as $100 and can also mean up to 30 days in jail for any juvenile found breaking curfew. Parents or guardians can receive up to 10 days in jail.

As for the Boutte break-ins, Champagne said that detectives are canvassing the area and seeking information about juveniles seen out after curfew. Anyone with information regarding the crimes is asked to contact the Detective’s Bureau at (985)783-1135.

"Crime in SCP would drop at least 10 percent if we all make a habit of locking our cars and removing valuables from them at night," Champagne said. "Help us help you."

View other articles written Jonathan Menard

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