Metairie Lawmaker Files Bill to Crack Down on Car Thieves in Louisiana
BATON ROUGE, La. (KPEL News) - Auto burglaries have garnered more and more headlines across Louisiana and one state lawmaker who lives close to where the crime has become much more prevalent is hoping to use the upcoming state legislative session to get tougher on these thieves.
Legislator Laurie Schlegel represents the people of Metairie. The neighboring city of New Orleans has set the pace across the state for increasing auto burglaries. Recently, as pointed out in this WWL article, at least 30 vehicle were broken into while NBA fans were watching the Pelicans play in the Smoothie King Center.
In this interview with our news partners at Louisiana Radio Network, Representative Schlegel points out how this crime could lead to others.
If they steal a gun in a car, they might be using that to also perpetrate on other victims, along with hurting our economy here. So, it’s really a behavior we have to take a hold on, and that what I’m trying to do here.
Representative Schlegel says, currently, Louisiana law sends these criminals the wrong message as sentencing for the crime calls for 0-12 years. That means a car thief can get a suspended sentence or probation in that first year. She wants to stiffen that minimum sentence on people who commit a string of burglaries or any burglary within a mile of an fair, festival, entertainment or sports event, or parade by making that first year of the sentence non-probatable "so it pretty much tells criminals ‘you are going to go to jail for this behavior.”
House Bill 16 will be debated in the regular legislative session set to begin on April 10.
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