LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) - Homicides are down in the Hub City, however car burglaries are on the rise
Lafayette Police released their crime statistics for 2018 on Wednesday, and car burglaries are up 29%.
The Department says it responded to 293 vehicle burglaries in 2017.
That number jumped to 378 in 2018.
Police tell News 10 that auto burglaries are crimes of opportunity, meaning when a person sees valuable items in plain sight and take them, it's just that.
The Department along with various neighborhood watch groups in the city, are trying to deter them from happening.
"So they will pull on the door handles and try to get what they see in plain sight," said Cpl. Bridgette Dugas, with Lafayette PD.
"I've lived here for 10 years and this is my forever home, and I'm taking my community back," said Kristin Lange.
She's the head of the recently formed Cane - St. Michaels Cove Neighborhood Watch, which includes over 200 houses, and says their seeing the crime as well.
"We've had activity, but car burglaries are the major problem we see in our area," said Lange.
She and Robert Smith, the Co-Director of the Upper Lafayette Neighborhood Watch, agree that neighbors are just not locking their car doors.
"The very few that were broken into, the doors were left open and that's it. If they would just do that we would cut the car burglaries down in Lafayette," said Smith.
Police believe one of the main reasons so many cars are broken into throughout the city is because people leave their bags or purses visible for theieves to see through their car window.
"We ask them (residents) to kind of keep their eyes open, make sure that they're aware of things that are going on, if they see something suspicious call the police," said Lange.
Police say they're able to solve more crimes that occur in the city, with the continued cooperation with neghborhood watch groups and the entire community they serve.
"Each Precinct Commander will gather officers and they will work special details to make sure we target those areas, and they will be out there working the streets day and night, to specifically target individuals that are looking for vehicles to break into," said Cpl. Dugas.
Cpl. Dugas also mentions that the car burglaries are not just happening in one or two neighborhods, it's all across the city.
Here's a look at how Lafayette ranked in other major crimes, according to the Uniform Crime Report:
- The homicide rate is down 62% from 2017 to 2018.
- Robberies, assaults, and thefts were also down.
- There were the same amount of rape cases in 2017 and 2018.
If anyone would like to contact the Cane - St. Michaels Cove Neighborhood Watch Program they can reach Kristin Lange at 337-654-6468 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Their next meeting is set for Sunday, February 24 at 2 p.m.