Murders up, overall crime down in St. John

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 8, 2014

By Monique Roth

LAPLACE – The St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office recently reported overall crime rates in St. John Parish were down slightly more than 5 percent in 2013 compared to 2012.

The Sheriff’s Office released the Uniform Crime Reports for 2013 detailing data for seven index crimes including murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, auto theft and theft. The data was compiled for and sent to the FBI.

In 2012 there were 1,476 index crimes reported compared to the 1,401 reported in 2013, resulting in a 5.08 percent decrease.

St. John Parish Sheriff Mike Tregre said community involvement, awareness and tips have “greatly assisted us in solving crimes.”

The burglary, auto theft and theft categories were the areas of individual decreased crime rates.

In 2013, burglary reports were down 18.2 percent, auto thefts were down 8.22 percent and theft reports were down 2.22 percent compared to 2012.

Tregre said more than half of the vehicles targeted in auto thefts were ones that were left unlocked. Tregre said it is imperative for residents to keep their vehicles locked and to keep their valuables out of their vehicles, especially at night. Tregre said the large majority of auto theft occurs from midnight to 5 a.m.

The categories of murder, rape, robbery and assault each saw increases in 2013.

In 2013, 14 murders were reported compared to nine in 2012. Ten out of the 14 murders have been solved. The homicide category was the category with the largest percentage of increase at 55.56 percent.

The number of rapes rose from three to four, the number of robberies rose from 26 to 34, and the number of assaults rose from 130 to 142.  

The Sheriff’s Office reported the number of calls received to the office was down 14 percent in 2013. Tregre said he felt good about that decrease, saying that residents had fewer reasons to call the department last year.

As far as 2014 goes, Tregre said he and his department will continue to work to improve the relationship between the community and the Sheriff’s Office.

“We will work to earn the trust and maintain the trust of citizens,” Tregre said.

He added that the department is working on updating its website to include an option where residents can see a map of the parish and precise locations that various crimes are being committed.