St. Landry Parish & Other Area Law Enforcement Working To Crack Multiple Cases – Are They Connected?
The St. Landry Parish Sheriff's Office along with other law enforcement throughout the parish are working together to track down those responsible for various crimes. But, are all the crimes connected?
Captain Meghan Vizena, Spokesperson for the St. Landry Parish Sheriff's Office, says they are working on that angle. She also points out that since the majority of the most recent robberies have surrounded the holidays, she believes that is the key factor behind the crimes. She says,
"It goes along with the holidays. People are scrapping (around ) for money, they're desperate, and crime usually goes up around the holidays, so whether or not they are connected, right now we're kind of blaming it on the holidays."
Vizena says several agencies including the Opelousas Police Department and the Beau Chene Police Department are in contact with each other to compare notes on several incidents.
The first incident happened on December 22nd. The clerk at the Northside Citgo Station on Highway 182 in Opelousas was confronted by a black male suspect who put a double barrel, sawed-off shot gun wrapped in black tape in the clerk's face, then demanded money and cigarettes. The suspect was wearing a brown jacket with a blue bandana covering his lower face with a blue beanie cap covering his head. The suspect fled on foot with some cigarettes and an undisclosed amount of cash.
"Obviously if you have a gun to your face, it's going to be the first thing that you look at. He (the clerk) really didn't get a good description of him, the gunman, but he did remember it being a sawed-off shot gun. But I mean these kind of things the public needs to know because if you know someone with that type of weapon and black tape around it you're going to remember that."
Captain Vizena says they are also working with Grand Coteau police officers after the Beau Chene Truck Stop was robbed twice within the time frame of a month last year.
St. Landry Parish officers are also wanting tips on two other cases. Police are working to identify the man who broke into Kajeune's Chevron Station in Opelousas on the corner of Judson Walsh and 182 Christmas Eve. The front glass door had been broken, and once the suspect was inside, he was seen on surveillance video, ripping out the cash register. He was able to make off with an undisclosed amount of cash. Vizena is hoping people will follow the links in this story to see if they can identify any of the suspects.
In another case, Police want to catch the person responsible for the burglary Wednesday at Ray's Boudin in Opelousas.
If you have any information about any of these crime, please call St. Landry Crime Stoppers at 948-8477 (TIPS), go to their website; stlandrycrimestoppers.com and leave a web tip or like them on Facebook. You can also send them a tip via text message. Text TIPS625, plus your tip to CRIMES (274637). Commissioned law enforcement officers, members of their immediate families and the victims of this crime are not eligible for crime stoppers rewards.
Vizena says Crime Stoppers works, and they want more people to get involved in helping to solve crimes in St. Landry Parish.
" We get tips all the time and a lot of those tips that come in, we don't even feature those crimes. These are just citizens that want to help. They see something that is going on, and they call in, so we appreciate that, but our biggest success is when we're asking the public to identify a suspect. When they have a picture, and a video, and that's why we ask our business owners around the parish to put surveillance videos, because if you have surveillance nine out of ten times were going to get it (the crime) solved."