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Suburbanite area crime report

Staff Writer
The Suburbanite
2. Police respond to unflattering crime rankingA recent report published by USA Today ranking the Houma-Thibodaux area 10th out of 25 cities in the country with soaring violent crime has local law enforcement officials scratching their heads. "To be ranked No. 10 on that list was a shock to me," Houma Police Chief Dana Coleman said. "Just a few years ago, we were one of the safest cities, and now to be on a list like that is shocking. We're doing everything we can to ensure the citizens living in Houma that they have adequate protection." Compiled by website 24/7 Wall St. and published March 9 by USA Today, the report measured violent crime statistics over the past five years. In 2011, the violent crime rate was 314.6 per 100,000 people in Houma-Thibodaux, according to the report. That number spiked in 2016 to 449.1 per 100,000 people. The report lists the area's unemployment rate as 4.6 percent with a 20.9 percent poverty rate. However, the numbers presented in the report are misleading, said Coleman. He cited statistics showing a constant decrease in every violent crime category.

COVENTRY TWP.

• A woman told police July 2 that after she sold her motorhome, the buyer never returned her plates. She has now received tolls in the mail from Florida. The Florida Department of Transportation has been notified.

• Someone stole a trailer from Akron Area Electrical JATC between June 23 and July 2.

• A woman shot a handgun inside a home on July 2 and fled with a man when the woman’s mother came to investigate. The woman later returned to the home and admitted to shooting the firearm out of curiosity. The firearm could not be located. She believes the man took it. A gunshot residue kit was performed on her and she was charged with discharging a firearm in a house, a felony. Once at the jail, officers also found fentanyl in her vagina during a body scan. She was charged with felony possession of drugs. Her boyfriend, who was at the home when police arrived, had a warrant from Wayne County. He was turned over to them.

• A woman told police July 7 that her granddaughter reportedly took out a credit card in the woman’s name and charged $7,000 to it.

• An 18-year-old man reportedly has been stalking a 21-year-old woman. The man followed her home July 7 and yelled at her before driving off. The woman had filed a report with Wayne County the night before about the man stalking her. While police were there, the man drove by. Police later spoke with him at a residence. He admitted to following her and he was arrested for menacing by stalking. He was issued a summons, released and told not to return to the woman’s home or he would face criminal trespass charges as well.

• A man and woman were in a vehicle on the side of the road on July 8 when police were called. They had overdosed and the woman was revived on scene. The man had to be taken to the hospital.

• A man was arrested and issued a summons at a traffic stop for possession of marijuana on July 9.

GREEN

• Someone stole four bushes from Bellflower Lane on July 2.

• Trash in a garbage truck caught fire on July 3 and a Republic Services employee had to dump the contents into a parking lot to extinguish it.

• Someone drove a four-wheeler on a woman’s crops on Heckman Road on July 3, destroying them.

• An employee of Messiah Evangelical Lutheran Church entered the building to begin work on July 5 and saw a man standing there. She asked how he got in and he said through a window air conditioner. The employee was so scared she ran out of the building. When police arrived, the man was sitting in a pew with a coffee and some items. He said he had come to get help and he was homeless. He said he had been walking and didn’t know where he was. Then he saw the church and he fell asleep in the grass. When he woke up, he was cold and hungry so he found the loose window air conditioner and removed it and went in. He ate a breakfast bar and made some coffee. He also took a T-shirt to wear. He was arrested for felony breaking and entering and issued a summons.

• A license plate was stolen from a man’s trailer on July 5.

• A woman told police July 6 that her son choked and pushed her. He was arrested for domestic violence and taken to jail

• A man was involved in a car accident on July 6 and a marijuana cigarette was found in the driver’s seat. The man was charged with driving under suspension, driving under the influence, failure to maintain control and possession of drugs.

• A woman reported two white men were breaking into her neighbor’s car July 6 on Turkeyfoot Lake Road. She confronted the men who ran away before police arrived. Nothing was missing from the vehicle.

• A 15-year-old boy, who has been arrested 16 times in the past 12 months for domestic violence, possession of drugs, theft and being unruly, was turned over to children’s services on July 7 after threatening his grandfather.

• A woman posted in a Facebook group on July 5 inquiring about buying a specific breeds of puppies. A man responded and said he did not take cash, but instructed the woman on how to pay by gift cards and stated he would mail the puppy afterward. The woman paid $500 in gift cards and did not receive a puppy. The man is no longer answering his messages.

• A witness saw a man throwing something at a woman’s face with force on July 7 and called police. When police arrived, the man and woman both denied the assault. The witness showed the footage to police and they arrested the man for assault. He was released with a summons.

• During a traffic stop on July 8, police found the driver was operating the vehicle while under suspension. The driver also had a jar of marijuana in a backpack in the vehicle. The driver was issued a citation for the suspension and the marijuana was sent for testing.

• A woman was receiving medical care from Green Fire Department at Briarwood Estates on July 8 when they found she was in possession of glass pipes with white residue. The woman admitted it was either heroin or meth. She was taken to the hospital. She also received a summons for possession of drug paraphernalia.

• Two adult siblings got into an argument on July 9 and the sister stabbed the brother. The brother went to the hospital but would not say to police that the sister stabbed him. He did agree that she “went too far” and the father said he heard the incident but did not witness it. The sister denied stabbing him. She was arrested for domestic violence and felonious assault.

• A father and adult son got into an argument on July 9 after the son came over unexpectedly. Officers arrived with weapons drawn because the caller had mentioned firearms and the family has a history of domestic violence and drug use. The son was arrested. No firearms were found and the incident appeared to only be a verbal argument. The son was charged with domestic menacing and taken to jail.

• During a traffic stop on July 10, a passenger ended up arrested for his multiple warrants for probation violation and possession of meth. The man said he had the meth because he had taken it from his sister’s home so her children wouldn’t get it. He was issued a summons. The driver was warned about her headlights and released.

SPRINGFIELD TWP.

• A tall white man reportedly stole two cartons of menthol cigarettes from Speedway on June 30 after his credit card was declined.

• Someone took a woman’s wallet July 1 at Walmart and used one of the credit cards before the woman could cancel it.

• A Dunkin Donuts employee saw a man passed out in a vehicle by the front door around 3 a.m. July 3. An officer had to bang on the vehicle door to wake up the man. The man appeared to be extremely intoxicated and had difficulty exiting the vehicle. Officers smelled alcohol and had difficulty forming words. The man did not know where he was or what hotel he was staying at. He was cited for disorderly conduct and was then transported to ADM Crisis Center for detox.

• A man, who was in possession of an open tall can of beer, was stopped while walking in a road on July 3. The man told officers that he had been drinking all day and was intoxicated. He was then placed under arrest for disorderly conduct intoxication and open container in a public place. He was issued a summons and transported home.

• A man’s vehicle was stolen out of his daughter’s driveway on July 3. The doors had been unlocked and the keys had been left in the car. The vehicle was found at 1 a.m. on July 4 in Butler County, Pa.

• Witnesses told police on July 5 that an argument started between two men and they tried to separate them. One of the men had a stun gun, but was unable to get it to work. After a brief scuffle over the stun gun, the men were separated. The man with the stun gun then attacked the other man from behind with a knife. The other man was left with two stab wounds on his back and was taken to the hospital. The man with the stun gun admitted to attempting to use it and then subsequently stabbing the other man in the back. He told officers where to find the knife he used and was able to describe what the knife looked like.

• A customer at Red Roof Inn was trying to book a room with counterfeit money on July 5. The customer said she had paid cash for the other nights she had been there. She said the money had been given to her by a friend and she didn’t know it was fake. The customer also had a warrant for possession of drugs and was arrested. She admitted to the officer that her purse also had drugs in it, “molly and ice.” She now has new charges for possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia.

NEW FRANKLIN

• During a traffic stop on July 2, the driver smelled of alcohol and was asked to step out of the vehicle. The officer then observed a pistol in the driver’s side door. The driver stated he was a CCW holder and he had several drinks earlier at a bar. The driver failed field sobriety tests and he was placed under arrest for OVI and improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle. He was later released with a summons.

• During a traffic stop on July 4, an officer smelled marijuana and the drug was found in a ziplock bag in a backpack in the trunk. The driver was arrested for possession of marijuana and released with a summons.

• Someone broke into a woman’s Manchester Road home on July 9 and took two firearms. The shed was also broken into, but nothing was taken.

• A driver was stopped for speeding on July 9 and the officer saw the man had an open container of Corona Hard Seltzer. The driver admitted to having drinks earlier in the night. He was arrested for underage consumption and having an open container. He was later released with a summons.

• A woman reported that between July 8 and July 10, someone made four transactions on her account, totaling $1,300.09.

LAKEMORE

• During a traffic stop on July 3, a passenger was arrested with 23 grams of meth and scales. He was charged with possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia.

• A 29-year-old man was charged with criminal trespass July 3 after he went into Forever Fitness and got into an argument with the owner. The man had been previously trespassed from all Forever Fitness locations.

• Around midnight July 6, a 31-year-old man overdosed on heroin and meth. Police and EMS responded.