LULING, La (WGNO) The Saint Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office reported a slight increase in overall crimes reported in 2022. But the numbers are the second lowest they’ve been in 26 years and follow a record low year in 2021.

According to the sheriff’s office, in 2022, 1,279 crimes were reported, compared to 1,213 in the record low year of 2021. That’s an increase of 5.4%.

Some of the highest profile crimes like murder and rape were down. In 2021, there were 8 murders in St. Charles Parish compared to 5 in 2022. Rape cases declined by 2 to a total of 3 in 2022.

Theft and auto theft cases showed the biggest jumps. Theft cases went from 440 in 2021 to 499 in 2022. Auto theft showed the single biggest increase, going from 57 to 80, a 28.8% increase from 2021 to ’22.

Responding to the higher theft cases, Sheriff Greg Champagne urged residents to be vigilant and secure their property.

Champagne also said that his deputies are ready to do their part to continue to fight crime in the parish.

“The men and women of the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office
are well-trained, dedicated, and motivated,” Champagne says in a written statement announcing the 2022 crime stats. “They take crime prevention and apprehension
personally and seriously as they work, live, and raise their families here as well.”

Champagne also stressed his commitment to use all tools at the department’s disposal like social media, the DARE Program, and the Sheriff’s Summer Camp to fight crime and steer young people in the right direction.