Reported crime going down in St. Charles

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 5, 1999

LEONARD GRAY / L’Observateur / December 5, 1999

HAHNVILLE – St. Charles Parish Sheriff Greg C. Champagne announced a6.33 percent reduction in local crime, compared to the same period in1998. The sheriff credited public awareness and police presence, but saidhe could not take a great deal of credit for it.

“It’s pretty good, but we’re not getting overly excited by it,” Champagne commented.

There were 710 incidents in 1999, compared to 758 incidents in 1998.

Violent crime, over which police have little, if any, ability to prevent, was almost unchanged in volume. During July-September 1998 there wereno murders. Ditto for July-September 1999. There have been only twomurders in the parish during 1999, one in March and one in June.

Assaults totaled 247 incidents, for July-September 1999, compared to 252 in the same period of 1998.

Rapes totaled two for the July-September 1999 period, compared to one in the same period of 1999.

There were 13 incidents of robbery in this quarter of 1999, compared to 11 in 1998. Burglary incidents totaled 122 in 1999, compared to 129 in 1998. Theft incidents totaled 302 in 1999, compared to 329 in1998.

The biggest drop among crimes was in auto theft, where 35 incidents in the third quarter of 1998 went to 24 incidents in the third quarter of 1999.

“We don’t want people to be complacent,” Champagne added. “Thievery iswhere temptation meets opportunity.”Citizens can do many common-sense things to help them not become a victim of crime, such as locking vehicle and residence doors, not leaving valuables in plain sight and keeping an eye out for suspicious activity.

Champagne urged citizens to remain vigilant.

Champagne also announced increased alcohol-related traffic enforcement, targeting substance-impaired drivers.

With the multitude of Christmas and millennium-related celebrations planned this holiday season, the sheriff’s office is increasing highway patrols, funded partly by the Selective Enforcement Traffic Program grant administered by the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission.

The goal is to reduce the volume of fatality and injury crashes through the holiday period.

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