Tenants of a mobile home park in Scott are outraged at a lack of security and an increase of crime. A check into two burglary calls at Cypress Mobile Estates led to a discovery of an area crawling with crime. The latest call to action led Lafayette Parish Sheriff Deputies to find the trailer of 7 month pregnant Latore Noel had been broken into sometime in the past week.
"The meat was taken out of my freezer, my TV was gone and the clothes in my dresser were gone. Everything was wiped out and this is not the first time," said Noel.
The suspects broke into the trailer by removing a window air conditioning unit. Noel, who has been the victim of two other home burglaries, said she left for a week, and came back on Saturday to a ransacked home. Her 60-inch TV, which she is currently making payments on was missing; an item police believe would have been noticeable to witnesses.
"No one saw or heard anything but the trailer next door is only five feet away," said Kip Judice, LPSO spokesman,
Another resident, Laken Lantier said her truck was broken into a few weeks earlier.
"Cash, credit cards, social security cards, medical cards, a birth card, all gone," she said.
No witnesses and no arrests in either case. Captain Judice said these are only two instances in a spike in crime. Deputies have been in the area 51 times in the last 28 days.
"Two burglaries, one alarm activation, 10 disturbances, three suspicious activities, gunshots fired in the area," Judice began. "Twenty of these calls are deputies making their own call of action, but it's still a lot of activity for this small of an area."
Several area residents recounted instances of violence and vandalism spanning almost two years. Many refused to give their names, out of fear of retaliation or possible eviction. While police want more cooperation from tenants, tenants want more cooperation from their landlord. Tony Messina has been the acting landlord for two years and admitted that he was aware of the burglaries. His suggestion to residents was to take more precaution by adding deadbolts and steel doors. Residents, however, claim security is part of their rental agreement, and is no provided by Messina.
Messina claimed he let his security guard go because, "Things got ugly." However, the former security guard, who wants to remain unidentified, said he was let go because Messina refused to pay him more than 350 dollars a month to canvas the area. Messina did not confirm or deny any reason for zero security presence.
As far as the burglaries, police have no description of a suspect or suspects, but they along with residents believe the thieves live in the mobile home park. Police said residents should be aware of their surroundings and report any and all suspicious activity immediately.
Messina said he would speak to the owners of the mobile home park about possible giving Noel a month of free rent. Noel, however said she is fed up and is selling her trailer.
Anyone with any information regarding this or any other crime is asked to contact the Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office at 232-9211.