Crime in St. Charles Parish rose by 8 percent in 2012 when compared to 2011, mainly due to an increase in assaults and thefts, according to crime statistics released by the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office.
The number of reported assaults jumped by 22 percent, increasing from 813 in 2011 to 990 in 2012. Thefts increased by 62 over that same period.
Capt. Pat Yoes, Sheriff’s Office spokesman, said car burglaries and other thefts aren’t isolated events, which makes them difficult to control.
"Seldom do we see a single car burglary," he said. "These offenders tend to hit many cars in a short time span. Although this did increase our numbers, we were successful in making numerous arrests."
Those arrests led to the number of thefts dropping in the second quarter of 2012 when compared to 2011.
Yoes said that the Sheriff’s Office expected to see an increase in assaults when they created their Crime Victims Assistance Unit a few years ago. Specially trained deputies keep up with victims of domestic violence and encourage them to report assaults to police.
Rapes also rose by four, from four reported in 2011 to eight reported in 2012, while robberies increased by two, from 30 to 32.
Other major areas of crime decreased, with burglaries falling by 9 percent, from 449 to 410. Auto thefts fell from 84 to 79.
There were two murders in St. Charles in 2012 compared to three in 2011. Jared Mealey was gunned down in May while sitting in his car in the Preston Hollow neighborhood of St. Rose. Keywine Bradford was arrested shortly after in connection with the crime.
Jay Bertucci, 21, was killed in December after he fought back against a gun-wielding robber who tried to enter his apartment. No arrests have been made so far and Sheriff Greg Champagne said the incident appears to be drug related.