ZACHARY, LA (WAFB) - Thefts, break-ins, and drugs are not typically the things that come to mind when you think of the city of Zachary, but a new report uncovers a disturbing reality, those crimes are real and they are happening more often.
Community, schools and safety are among the many reasons people give for moving to Zachary. Crime is not something people who live there they are necessarily worried about. It is clear that most homeowners are comfortable. They look out for their neighbors, but newly released crime statistics from the Zachary Police Department paint a darker picture.
According to the Unified Crime Report, thefts have increased from 258 in 2011 to 406 in 2014, burglaries from 12 to 56, and assaults from 110 to 176.
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"Zachary is growing, and with growth you're going to have this," said Police Chief David McDavid.
Chief McDavid says the up tick in theft and burglaries are a result of unwelcomed visitors who shoplift and walk away with homeowners' unguarded property. He says he has instructed his officers to arrest those thieves to make sure they don't skip town, and if found guilty, pay the consequences.
"A lot of them were coming here, getting arrested, and then never show up for court," said McDavid. "So what we do now is book them, set a bond and if they don't come to court, they lose bond and the money comes here."
McDavid says the majority of the reported assaults are a result of domestic violence.
Patrols and a night captain have been added to keep a closer watch of the city, but he has also encouraged homeowners to reassemble neighborhood watch programs and to communicate on a weekly basis.
McDavid adds, the upswing in numbers also shows more people are reporting crime.