Aug 26, 2010 6:32 PM by Carolyn Cerda
Burglars are terrorizing an Iberia Pariah town. Jeanerette police and marshals are working with residents to catch the criminals. Thursday, local officials held a town hall meeting to reassure the community that they are working to keep them safe.
"We hear your cry we feel your frustration, we're frustrated. We're giving you the opportunity to tell us what you expect. We also want you to know what we're doing," said Jeanerette Police Chief, Larry Jones.
Officials say nearly 30 businesses, homes and cars have been burglarized, just this month. Several businesses on Main St. were targeted. Some still have busted windows boarded up. Others have installed new security systems.
"That's scary... they say put bars up on your window, but you don't want to feel like your in jail all the time," said Meagan Bernard.
Bernard works at one of the businesses that was broken into, twice. Her home was also burglarized on Monday.
"The took everything that they could find. They took, our TV, our money, everything."
Officials say the culprits are ransacking businesses and homes, taking cash and anything else they can carry. They say the burglars have even targeted cars. Early Thursday morning, marshals arrested Jarrid Westly who was wanted in connection with the burglaries. He is charged, among other things, with attempted murder, after officials say he shot at a victim whose car he was burglarizing.
Officials say they have other suspects in custody, and are looking for several more. They believe the burglars worked as a group. They're also hoping that any witnesses will come forward, since some of the crimes happened in broad daylight.
"I think we need to work as a group...the police, the marshals, and the citizens, most importantly, the citizens," said Chief Jones.
"We want the people of Jeanerette to take back their community. If you see something suspicious in your neighborhood, don't be afraid to call," said Chief Deputy Durell Thomas, with the marshal's office.