According to Captain Kip Judice, with the Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office, he says that the minimum cost, (this includes booking, man hours, etc) for making an arrest is likely around $300.

So this was especially interesting to me when I read a press release by the St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office this morning in which a 17 year old girl was arrested for stealing from Wal-Mart. The item she stole? Not a T.V., or a video game, or even a new CD. She stole a $3 bracelet, in which she was promptly arrested and booked when reported by the Wal-Mart staff.

300% cost increase for the tax payers to get a 17 year old girl arrested. This certainly doesn't excuse what she did and keep in mind that the people deserve the protection they pay for with the taxes.

Also, I completely understand and respect the fact that the police must arrest for any crime done, according to their discretion, because when the police choose to ignore a crime such as this, it can become rampant.

Captain Judice mentioned this when I spoke to him this morning,

If you just set a dollar limit as to how much can be stolen before the police decide to become involved, then the law cannot be enforced properly and people can just steal up to that dollar amount."

Personally, I agree with Captain Judice in this matter, but it still stands to question, at what point can we just leave the punishments to the parents? I think I am just playing devil's advocate here and attempting to see all the angles, but I want to know what you think.