Mar 302017

A representation of violent personal crime around Mid-City last week. The red fist signifies assaults.

By Claire Byun

Shoplifting incidents around New Orleans Police Department’s First District are up this month, though the total number of violent crimes has decreased.

There have been 117 shoplifting reports this year compared to 82 at this point last year, according to NOPD statistics. First District officials discussed last week’s crime statistics at their regular meeting Tuesday.

“Let’s start paying attention to this, because this has been a thorn in our side,” Commander Hans Ganthier said. “We need to start getting them off the street.”

Officers send out warnings to others on patrol after a reported shoplifting, and two suspects were arrested because of those alerts, Sgt. Kenny Temple said. The best plan of action to reduce shoplifting, Ganthier said, is to catch the perpetrators before they can hit again.

“There’s really no way to stop it,” Ganthier said. “We just have to catch the people who do it afterwards and get them off the street.”

Other property crimes decreased over the week, including auto thefts and burglaries. Auto thefts have decreased dramatically over the last four weeks, Ganthier said, and average about six a week.

There were two residential burglaries and five auto burglaries last week as well. The residential incidents were most likely not related, Temple said. Most personal crimes, including murder and assault, decreased last week as well. There was one reported armed robbery last week compared to eight the year before, which really helped knock down the rate of violent crime, Ganthier said.

The number of rapes and shootings also increased, and there were three more aggravated assault incidents last week as well. The total number of violent crime incidents have decreased from 48 last year to 19 this year, Ganthier said.

“The last four weeks have been really good,” he said. “So we’re making up some really good ground.”

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