ZACHARY, LA (WAFB) - It seems the small, quiet town of Zachary is no longer what it used to be, with several violent incidents in the area since the summer. As the city grows, unfortunately, crime is keeping pace.
Folks in Zachary are on edge after Chief David McDavid sounded the alarm Wednesday morning, saying what they have dealt with the past five months is cause for concern. "We've had four homicides here, which is uncommon. We usually have one every five to ten years," said McDavid.
McDavid says the violence may be linked to ex-offenders transitioning back into society, or possibly more drugs on the streets. Tuesday night the department arrested Donnie Aucoin and Delia Singleton after finding roughly 14 pounds of mojo, or synthetic marijuana, in their home.
"There was 13.5 pounds of mojo in this residence," said McDavid. "That's the most mojo we've ever recovered in the city limits of Zachary."
That arrest is the latest in a string of recent violent incidents in Zachary since July.
Three teens were shot, one fatally, over the weekend, during what police say was an attempted robbery. The alleged gunman, Terry Flanagan, is now charged with second degree murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
The weekend before, an 11-month-old was shot, stabbed, and beaten to death allegedly by his father. The horrific acts were carried out in what police now believe may have been a mojo-fueled attack.
"We'll look at that further. We're waiting on the blood analysis from that case also from the crime lab to see what he had in his system," said McDavid.
Back in August, a woman was stabbed to death off Highway 19, allegedly by a work release inmate, who was also her longtime boyfriend.
In July, Zachary police were busy with a string of vehicle break-ins in various neighborhoods and just days before, one person was shot and killed in attempted robbery at a condo.
"Gee, where are you safe anymore," questioned Father Bayhi.
Bayhi is a Catholic priest at St. John the Baptist in Zachary and says the violence must end. "One of the things that we need to understand is we need to get back to being a community," said Bayhi.
He believes what is most important to remember is that crime does not have a certain address and that it can happen anywhere. "We can't think it's over there. We can't think it's that neighborhood because it doesn't know any boundaries," said Bayhi.
McDavid does not want people to panic, but says it is a good idea to do things like be mindful of their surroundings and lock their doors. Of course, anyone with information that can help with any of the crimes is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 225-344-7867.