Crime drops by 20 percent in St. Charles

On pace for record low

August 29, 2014 at 1:01 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Sheriff Greg Champagne
Sheriff Greg Champagne
The number of reported crimes in St. Charles Parish dropped by an astounding 20 percent in the first six months of the year when compared to the same period in 2013.

If the crime totals continue on their current pace, St. Charles Parish will see the lowest amount of crime since the statistics began being tracked in 1996.

St. Charles Parish Sheriff Greg Champagne attributed the decrease to several factors including the high visibility of patrols in the area, a good working relationship with the St. Charles Parish District Attorney’s Office and the increased use of technology such as home surveillance cameras that deter would-be criminals.

Five of the seven crime categories decreased from last year. The number of burglaries fell from 168 in the first six months of 2013 to 111 during the same period this year, a 34 percent drop.

Thefts were reduced from 475 to 398, while assaults dropped from 443 to 338.

The biggest decrease was in robberies, which fell by 36.8 percent in the first half of this year when compared to the same period in 2013.

There was just one murder in the first half of 2014 compared to three in 2013.

Only two categories saw increases. There were three rapes in the first half of last year while there have been five reported this year. Auto thefts also jumped from 33 to 49, which Champagne credited to a New Orleans auto theft ring that operated inside the parish earlier this year.

A key member of that theft ring, Donnell Miner, was arrested and sentenced to seven years in jail.

Champagne said that the District Attorney’s Office, under the leadership of Joel Chaisson, has been able to keep repeat offenders off the streets by issuing stiffer sentences. He also said that deputies are aggressively executing warrants and attachments to take known criminals off the streets.

Residents are also deterring crime by providing tips to the Sheriff’s Office through email and social media, according to Champagne.

“An overall willingness on the part of citizens to be vigilant against and quickly report possible criminal activity also has a positive impact,” he said. “Since property crime is connected to drug abuse and trafficking, the results are positive.”

View other articles written Jonathan Menard

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