CRIME

APSO Crime Stopping Efforts Prove Useful

Leslie D. Rose
Terrance Richard.

In a growing parish, such as Ascension, crime, as in any other place, will be an issue. However it is APSO’s crime-stopping efforts that sets it apart from other agencies.

“In recent years, people have been less inclined, less willing to get involved with being witnesses to crimes, and sadly that’s because, there’s been retribution against those who have,” Wiley said. “It affects the criminal justice system if we don’t have people helping us make cases. Simple math – we probably have 60 or 70 field officers on duty right now in Ascension Parish – that’s lot, but it is not as much as 120,000 people with eyes and ears.”

Wiley said that the majority of the cases are made with the help of witness accounts.

Data provided by Crime Stoppers BR show 11,215 arrests have been made in its eight-parish area, as of July 2015, with 12,513 cases cleared – Ascension Parish is in the area served. Additionally, Wiley has, on a number of occasions, personally provided assurance that his office is serious about seeking out suspects, making arrests and keeping residents safe.

Unfortunately Ascension Parish ranks high on the charts for crime rates. According to a chart on the APSO website, the five year average (2009-2013) in both the violent and property crime divisions fall just slightly under the national average for similar crimes.

Nationwide, the violent crime index reports a 394.8 average, while Ascension reports a rate of 353.7. Ascension's property crime index shows an average of 2,582 – a rate just 300 shy of the national average. As a whole, the state holds rates much higher than the nation’s reporting. The chart shows Ascension Parish’s violent crime rates fall fewer than an average 200 crimes below the state. The property crime index lists the state higher, at nearly an 800 crime difference between it and Ascension Parish rates, making the Parish appear to be on the higher end of crime in Louisiana.

The APSO’s efforts include providing almost immediate information on suspects via media outlets and its Facebook page, as well as tip provisions for residents to stay safe and alert.

“We have had an increase success with Crime Stoppers, we’ve also have increased success with our social media accounts and website – so not only Crime Stoppers, it’s the social networking accounts where we got our message out and people can easily contact us back,” Wiley said.

At press time, the past week’s reportings show that one suspect arrest was made public, one person previously sought was charged and the APSO is seeking the whereabouts of three suspects. In the recent week, 79 individuals were arrested from charges stemming from drugs to property crimes and previous warrants.

According to an APSO spokesperson, such is a typical week at the office.

Aside from community support offered via its Facebook page, the APSO utilizes billboards around the parish, hosts both neighborhood watch and community meetings and utilizes extra patrols, foot patrols and more.

It is through these efforts that the Office is able to boast a high success rate in capturing suspects and clearing cases. A portion of the agency’s vision lists its desire to be perceived as the finest sheriff’s department in the state of Louisiana, allotting sufficient resources to fulfill its mission of using innovative leadership and dedication to providing quality service in law enforcement and to protect Parish citizens.

The following highlights a period of notices from the APSO during a time frame shorter than 24-hours.

On Aug. 28 a release was sent proclaiming that a previously-sought Gonzales man had been arrested on charges stemming from third-degree rape and sexual battery

According to Wiley, detectives arrested Carl McKinley, 56, of Gonzales for third-degree rape and sexual battery.

On Aug. 25, detectives began an investigation into a sexual assault that occurred earlier, that same day.

During the course of the investigation, it was learned that the 24-year-old victim had been staying with McKinley and his wife at their home on La. 30 for the past week so she could attend a particular church in the area. While sleeping the victim was awakened by McKinley sexually assaulting her. The victim then left the home and walked to a local hospital, according to Wiley.

In the late evening hours of Aug. 25, Carl McKinley of 38373 La. 30, Gonzales was arrested without incident. He was booked into the Ascension Parish Jail where his bond was set at $150,000 by Judge Tess Stromberg.

McKinley has 13 prior arrests including a 2003 rape. Other arrests include aggravated battery, assault and criminal mischief.

The day before the release was sent about McKinley’s arrests, the APSO noted charges filed against a Port Allen man in connection with a rash of burglaries in Donaldsonville.

Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office Lt. Col. Bobby Webre reported that detectives interviewed Terrance Richard, 25, of 1155 Northwest Drive, Port Allen, in reference to several residential burglaries that occurred in Ascension Parish over the past few weeks.

Detectives learned that Richard had been arrested by Louisiana State Police in West Baton Rouge Parish after they received information that he was driving a vehicle stolen during a residential burglary in Donaldsonville that occurred on Aug. 6.

Richard was arrested and booked into the West Baton Rouge Parish Jail.

As the investigation continued it was learned that entry was made into the victim’s residence in Donaldsonville by forcing a window open, after he had unscrewed the exterior light bulb.

Further investigation revealed that Richard admitted to breaking into several residences over the past few weeks and that he would disable the exterior lighting prior to entry.

Richard was arrested and charged with two counts attempted simple burglary of an inhabited dwelling, criminal damage to property, six counts simple burglary of an inhabited dwelling, seven counts of theft, and unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling. He was transported to the Ascension Parish Jail on Aug. 24 where his bond was set at $84,178.

Also on Aug. 27, the APSO released information in efforts to arrest three suspects, on a variety of charges. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of any of the following suspects is urged to contact the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office, (225) 621-INFO (4636), text 847411 to the anonymous tip line from any cellular device or contact Crime Stoppers, (225) 344-STOP(7867). To be eligible for a cash reward, individuals must contact Crime Stoppers immediately.

The agency is seeing the whereabouts of the following individuals – Keith Carlin, 30, of 14255 Bishop Woods Road, Gonzales; Matthew Morris, 26; and Alejandro Silva, 32.

Carlin is wanted by the APSO for cyber stalking.

According to Wiley, on Aug. 26, deputies began an investigation after information was received that Carlin was sending harassing and threatening messages via text messaging to someone.

Deputies also learned that Carlin went to the victim’s workplace and physically assaulted the victim in front of co-workers.

Based on the information given, deputies obtained an arrest warrant for cyber stalking for threatening messages and threats to inflict bodily harm on the victim.

Morris has five outstanding warrants for monetary instrument abuse, two counts of theft, resisting an officer and two counts of unauthorized use of an access card.

He is also a person of interest in three residential burglaries in the Prairieville area in which firearms were reported stolen. Furthermore, he is suspected of producing counterfeit money and distributing it at different locations within Ascension Parish.

Morris has several tattoos, one that displays the word “trill” on the left side of his neck. The word “trill” is defined as a word that describes someone who is considered to be well-respected among peers.

He has been arrested over 16 times for charges stemming from simple burglary, armed robbery, theft and aggravated battery with a dangerous weapon. He is presumed to be armed and dangerous.

Silva is wanted for violating his protective order, according to Wiley.

On Aug. 21, deputies arrested Silva for improper telephone communications after deputies received information that he had continuously called someone he knew after the victim requested he not make anymore contact. Deputies spoke with Silva and also requested that he not contact the victim, however he still continued to call the victim repeatedly, added Wiley.

He was booked into the Ascension Parish Jail and released, however upon release, the same day, he began calling the victim again. The victim filed a protective order that was in place on Aug. 21.

Two days later, on Aug. 23, deputies were dispatched to a local business and advised that Silva had violated the protective order in place by repeatedly calling the victim and leaving messages.

Silva has identifiable tattoos on his neck that display “Mata” and “Silva” on each side of his neck.