Hot and bothered: "violent crime rises with the heat"

Combating summer crime in Ouachita Parish.
Combating summer crime in Ouachita Parish.(KNOE)
Published: Jun. 28, 2018 at 5:54 PM CDT
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Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Office is battling summer crimes. Deputies say the hotter it gets outside, the more they see burglaries and thefts.

Public Information Officer Glenn Springfield said, "The weather is warmer, so residents are outside and more people are interacting."

He said the recent rash of burglaries are due to school being out. Springfield says five juveniles are behind bars in connection to Willow Creek Subdivision burglaries. He said teenagers have more time on their hands in the summer.

"Most of these burglaries and thefts that occur are crimes of opportunity," Springfield said. He said with families being on vacations, their homes, vehicles, and mailboxes become targets.

Deputies are urging people to hide valuable items and lock their car doors because "[ciminals] look to see if there is anything visible like a laptop, cell phone, firearm."

Springfield said their office also sees a spike in aggressive crimes. Dr. Pamela Saulsberry agrees. She's the Director School of Behavioral and Social Sciences at ULM. She says, "Hot weather can make us act a little bit more foolish then we might if it was cooler."

Saulsberry said the patience people might have had when it was 30 degrees may be gone when it is 103 degrees. She said there is not much a person can do but turn the other cheek.

Springfield says there are a few ways to stop the theft and burglaries though. He said installing a home camera, motion detecting lights, and alarms can help.

He said the most important thing, however, is to say something when you see something or someone suspicious.

"Wherever you live, call the law enforcement for that area so that they can check it out," Springfield said.

He also said starting a neighborhood watch program can help.