“With growth comes crime,” predicted Sterlington chief of police Barry Bonner mere months ago.
Bonner informed the media that the Sterlington Police Department has been investigating two robberies that occurred over last weekend one at Medic Pharmacy and the other at Family Dollar.
The town has not slowed down as the 2012 census conducted by Louisiana State University shows a 28 percent population increase, and experts forecast a swell of infrastructure and commerce to transpire over the next few years.
The robbery of Medic Pharmacy is believed to have occurred sometime early Saturday morning before daylight, according to Bonner.
Medic Pharmacy owner Gary Grayson said the robber(s) stole thousands of hydrocodone pills and other narcotics, foolishly entering the pharmacy through the brightly lit front door.
“They went right through the front door by breaking the glass with a two by four,” Grayson said. “Whoever did this has nerve and probably a lot of experience.”
Grayson said only a week before the robbery of his store, another pharmacy near Bastrop was robbed in almost the exact same way, with the perpetrators breaking in same way, quickly robbing the store of narcotics in a matter of minutes.
“It was estimated to have only taken them four to five minutes at the most to get in and out,” he said. “There are locks, doors and alarms they managed to get through.”
In addition, Grayson indicated recent burglaries at two other pharmacies in Monroe, although he said he was not completely sure of the details.
A recent Monroe press releases reported an increase in holiday crime, that prompted Mayor Jamie Mayo to address Monroe residents, only minutes away from Sterlington.
According to Bonner, Sterlington is a “usually quiet” place to weekends. However, he worries the department could become overextended in the near future.
Mayor Vern Breland said he served as a Monroe Police Officer, before joining the Sterlington Police Department, where he said crime always increases during the holidays.
“We haven't experienced much crime in the past and are hoping this is just a glitch in the system,” Breland said. “The growth we are experiencing is great, but growth spurts require more services and now is the time to beef up the police department.”
Breland said residents should remain cautious when going out and not leave purses or valuables on the seat or out in the open when leaving them in vehicle.