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Statistics shopw drop in crime

By Leonard Gray / L’Observateur / June 3, 1998

HAHNVILLE – Newly-released crime statistics for the St. Charles ParishSheriff’s Office indicate a continued drop in crime in six major categories.

“I’m very pleased,” Sheriff Greg Champagne commented Monday. “Thecrime rate has fairly much stabilized.”Champagne gave much of the credit to the 29th Judicial District judges Robert Chaisson, Kirk Granier and Emile St. Pierre for their toughsentencing of repeat offenders.

“The judges are cooperating in keeping repeat offenders off the streets,” he said. “They don’t cut them any slack.”For the first quarter of 1998, covering January through March, there were 593 incidents. This compares to 602 incidents in the previous quarter,October through December 1997, and 724 incidents for the first quarter of 1997.

In crimes against property, there were eight robberies in the first quarter of 1998. That compares to 15 incidents in the previous quarter, and 15incidents in the same quarter of 1997.

In auto theft, there were 41 incidents in the first quarter of 1998, compared to 41 incidents for the previous quarter and 55 incidents in the same quarter of 1997.

In burglary, there were 79 incidents in the first quarter of 1998, which compares to 85 incidents in the previous quarter and 118 incidents in the same quarter of 1997.

In theft, there were 257 incidents in the first quarter of 1998. Thatcompares to 242 in the previous quarter and 349 incidents in the same quarter of 1997.

In crimes against persons, there were no murders in this or the previous quarter and only two in the first quarter of 1997. There were five rapes inthe first quarter of 1998, four in the previous quarter and two in the first quarter of 1997. There were 201 assaults in the first quarter of 1998,compared to 204 in the previous quarter and 185 incidents in the first quarter of 1997.

Champagne reiterated his call for the public to get more involved in crime prevention and urged communication and cooperation with his department.

He added people may say they don’t see deputies patrolling their neighborhoods often enough, but they can correct that by calling for a deputy when they see suspicious activity.

“If you see a suspicious car in the neighborhood, call us,” he said. “Youjust have to be cautious and on guard.”He concluded, “We’re not going to eliminate crime. We’re just getting ahandle on it.”

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