Stats show crime down 43 percent

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 10, 1998

By Leonard Gray / L’Observateur / June 10, 1998

LAPLACE – Crime statistics for the first quarter of 1998, reported by St.

John the Baptist Parish Sheriff Wayne L. Jones, show a 43 percent overalldrop, covering nearly every crime category.

“Overall, I’m very pleased,” Jones commented on the findings. “I’mcautious, but optimistic.”In comparing the incidences of crime in seven major categories from the first quarter of 1997 to January-March 1998, every category was down with the exception of rape.

Rape incidents climbed from none in 1997 to two in 1998.

Sharp cuts were reported, however, in burglary (down from 169 to 76, a cut of 55 percent) and theft (down from 315 to 162, a cut of 49 percent).

Robberies dropped from six in 1997 to five in 1998, a drop of 17 percent; auto thefts dropped from 36 in 1997 to 30 in 1998, a drop of 17 percent; assault dropped from 80 in 1997 to 69 in 1998, a drop of 14 percent; and homicide dropped from one in 1997 to none in 1998.

Jones added getting road deputies off Airline Highway and into neighborhood patrols have cut sharply into such offenses as burglaries and auto theft.

“What’s paying off are the increased patrols in the subdivisions,” he said.

In comparing the first quarter of 1998 to the previous quarter, October- December 1997, drops were also noted in most categories.

Incidences of theft dropped from 219 in late 1997 to 162. Incidences ofburglary dropped from 146 to 76. Incidences of assault dropped from 102to 69. Incidences of auto theft dropped from 46 to 30. Incidences ofhomicide dropped from two to none.

However, robbery incidences rose from the last quarter of 1997, which had two instances, to five in the first quarter of 1998. There were also noinstances of rape in the last quarter of 1997 but two in 1998.

Jones also credited the public’s increased communication with the sheriff’s office and business owners and managers taking more of an interest in keeping offenders out of their businesses.

“I’m looking for more of the same and hope for a very good 1998,” Jones concluded.

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