Social Media Post Leads to Help for Suicidal Woman in Scotland after Call to LPSO

Sheriff Craig Webre reported that a suicidal woman in Scotland received assistance after a Lafourche resident saw a social media post and contacted the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office.

On the afternoon of November 8, 2019, a Lafourche Parish woman saw a post in a Facebook group about suicide awareness and prevention in which a woman in Scotland indicated she had possibly overdosed on medication and was armed with a knife. After a few minutes in which the woman had not responded to anyone on the post, the Lafourche Parish woman attempted to contact authorities in Scotland but was unable to reach them. At that point, she contacted the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office for assistance.

The woman’s profile indicated she lived in Kilmarnock, Scotland, and LPSO Communications deputies made contact with a local police department there. Within a short time, officers in Kilmarnock were able to properly identify and locate the woman. She was found to be having suicidal thoughts but was otherwise in good health. Officers said they would take the woman to receive help.

“This incident illustrates how social media has seemingly made the world a smaller place in that we were able to find a way to help a woman thousands of miles away,” said Sheriff Webre. “We thank our law enforcement partners in Scotland for their swift response in this matter, and we especially thank the local citizen who reported this to us. In all likelihood, she saved this woman’s life.”

Sheriff Webre reminds citizens to report any suspicious or criminal activity seen on social media. “The more information we have on any situation, the better we can respond to it,” said Sheriff Webre. “As our local citizen did in this incident, you should always try to determine the origin of a post and report it to the law enforcement agency in that jurisdiction. If you are unable to determine where a post originated, you can still contact your local law enforcement agency to investigate.”

Traffic Stop Leads to Drug and Weapon Charges for Raceland Man

Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre announced a Raceland man was arrested on drug and weapon charges following a traffic stop. Joey Gilliam, 27, was arrested on November 11, 2019.

Shortly after 11:30 p.m. on Monday, November 11, a K-9 deputy conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle traveling on LA Highway 182 in Raceland. The deputy identified the driver as Joey Gilliam. The deputy smelled the odor of suspected marijuana, and the K-9 alerted to the possible presence of narcotics inside the vehicle. The deputy found over 15 ounces of marijuana inside a glass jar, a box of small plastic bags, a scale, and a loaded pistol. The deputy also discovered small amounts of synthetic marijuana, MDMA, and a prescription drug. Gilliam was also found to have a small amount of the prescription drug on his person, as well as another pistol.

Gilliam was arrested and booked into the Lafourche Parish Correctional Complex. He was charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana and Possession of MDMA, Synthetic Marijuana, Drug Paraphernalia, and a Legend Drug. He was also charged with Illegal Carrying of a Weapon in the Presence of a Controlled Dangerous Substance and improper vehicle lighting. His bail is set at $31,600.

Joey Gilliam
Joey Gilliam

Accreditation Assessment Team Invites Public Comment

Sheriff Craig Webre announced that a site-based assessment team from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA®) will arrive Monday, December 2, 2019, to examine all aspects of the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office policy and procedures, management, operations, and support services.

“Verification by this team that the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office meets the Commission’s state-of-the-art standards is part of a voluntary process to gain accreditation – a highly prized recognition of public safety professional excellence,” Sheriff Webre said.

As the Sheriff’s Office seeks reaccreditation under the Law Enforcement program, this review will also include a review of its Communications and Training Academy sections in efforts to achieve separate accreditation under CALEA. As part of the assessment, agency personnel and members of the community are invited to offer comments at a public information session at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, December 3, 2019. The session will be conducted at the Main Courthouse in the Division “A” courtroom at 201 Green Street in Thibodaux, Louisiana.

If for some reason an individual cannot speak at the public information session but would still like to provide comments to the assessment teams, he/she may do so by telephone. The public may call (985) 449-4421 between the hours of 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Tuesday, December 3, 2019. Comments will be taken by the Law Enforcement Assessment Team. As part of the process for Public Safety Communications accreditation, the public and employees are invited to call (985) 387-4410 between the hours of 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Tuesday, December 3, 2019. As part of the process for Training Academy accreditation, the public and employees are invited to call (985) 387-4410 between the hours of 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Tuesday, December 3, 2019.

Telephone comments as well as appearances at the public information session are limited to 10 minutes and must address the agency’s ability to comply with CALEA Standards. A copy of the standards is available at the Community Security Section Office at 200 Patriot Street in Thibodaux, Louisiana. The contact person is Deputy Lesley Hill at (985) 242-5526.

Persons wishing to offer written comments about the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office’s ability to meet the standards for accreditation are requested to write: Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA®), 13575 Heathcote Boulevard, Suite 320, Gainesville, Virginia 20155.

The Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office must comply with nearly 600 standards in order to maintain the accredited status of the entire agency and achieve accredited status for Training and Communications, Sheriff Webre said. “We have maintained accredited status for nearly 20 years and the community has seen the benefits firsthand in the professional way the men and women of this agency serve the public,” Sheriff Webre added.

Accreditation is for four years, during which the agency must submit annual reports and participate in annual remote web-based assessments attesting continued compliance with those standards under which it was initially accredited.

For more information regarding CALEA®, please write the Commission at 13575 Heathcote Boulevard, Suite 320, Gainesville, Virginia 20155 or call (703) 352-4225 or email calea@calea.org.

Woman Arrested in October Faces New Charges after Home Incarceration Violation

Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre announced the arrest of Misty Kuramoto, 29, of Lockport on Wednesday. Kuramoto removed her ankle monitor and left her residence two days after being ordered to pre-trial home incarceration.

As previously released, Kuramoto was arrested on October 24, 2019, for a string of vehicle burglaries and thefts in the Lockport area. When deputies located her, she was found to be in possession of the stolen items which were later returned to the respective owners. She was also found to be in possession of a small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. At that time, she was charged with three counts of Simple Burglary, two counts of Theft, Possession of Marijuana, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

On November 4, 2019, she was ordered into the pre-trial home incarceration program. She was ordered to be confined to her residence in Lockport with an ankle monitor.

Two days later, at around 5 a.m. on Wednesday, November 6, the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office received an alert that Muramoto’s ankle monitor was tampered with. Officers from the Lockport Police Department responded to her residence and found that she was not there which was a violation of the terms of her home incarceration. Through investigation, deputies tracked Kuramoto’s location to a residence on East 23rd Street in Larose. Deputies located her at the residence, and she was taken into custody.

Kuramoto was booked into the Lafourche Parish Correctional Complex. She was charged with Simple Escape and Tampering with Electronic Monitoring Equipment. She was also booked again on the charges from the previous arrest. Her total bail is now set at $45,850.

Misty Kuramoto
Misty Kuramoto

Free Hunter Education Field Day Slated for November 20, 2019

The Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office will host a FREE Hunter Education Field Day on Wednesday, November 20, 2019 for anyone ages 10 or older who has completed the home study course. The class will take place from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the LPSO Shooting Range located at 3451 Highway 182 in Raceland.

As an alternative to the traditional two-day classroom course, a Home Study Course is available online through the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries website. Those who complete the home study course MUST take their completion voucher to a “Field Day” to complete their hunter education. Entry to the Field Day will be denied unless the completed forms are presented. There will be a written test required to complete the Field Day. Class size is limited. Advance registration is required. CLICK HERE to register for the Field Day.

Firearms and ammunition should NOT be brought to this course, but snacks are permitted. For more information, or for assistance with online registration, call the LPSO Training Academy at (985) 387-4480 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., or email Lieutenant Nolan Smith at nolan-smith@lpso.net.

*Anyone born after September 1, 1969, who wishes to obtain a hunting license in Louisiana, must successfully complete a hunter education course. Exceptions may be granted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries for active or veteran members of the United States armed services, for any P.O.S.T.-certified law enforcement officer, or for persons who are under the direct supervision of a person 18-years or older who is already licensed and has taken the approved course. Exceptions must be applied for and approved by the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

2019 Tax Notices Being Sent to Property Owners

Sheriff Craig Webre announced the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office will send out 41,501 tax notices this week to Lafourche Parish property owners. An additional 11,288 properties are homestead exempt, and no taxes are owed. A total of $119,727,005.39 in property taxes are now due and can be paid online, in person, or by mail. These taxes help fund all aspects of public service in the parish such as roads, drainage, levees, law enforcement, fire departments, hospitals, ambulance services, schools, and recreation.

Property taxes are due by December 31, 2019, and unpaid taxes become delinquent on January 1, 2020. Per state law, delinquent taxes accrue interest at a rate of 1% per month until paid.

FULL PAYMENTS: Payments can be made in full online at www.LPSO.net/PayMyTaxes. Full payments via cash, credit card, debit card, check, or money order can also be made at the LPSO Administrative Office (200 Canal Boulevard, Thibodaux) and at the South Lafourche Sub-station (102 West 91st Street, Cut Off). A surcharge will apply for all card payments. For added convenience, customers of the following banks may pay their taxes at any Lafourche branch of their bank through December 31, 2019: First American Bank, South Lafourche Bank, State Bank & Trust, United Community Bank, and Hancock Whitney Bank. Payments can also be mailed to Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office, P.O. Box 679538, Dallas, TX 75267-9538. This is a special address only for mailing in full tax payments.

PARTIAL PAYMENTS: For those unable to pay in full by December 31, 2019, partial payments can be made by mail to P.O. Box 5608, Thibodaux, LA 70302, or in person at the aforementioned LPSO offices. Each partial payment must be at least 25% of the total amount of property tax due, and the first partial payment must be made prior to December 31, 2019. The remaining unpaid amount is still subject to the 1% monthly penalty per state law.

All unpaid taxes will accrue additional costs associated with the tax sale. If the property is sold at the tax sale, the property owner is subject to loss of the homestead exemption. Property sold at the tax sale may be redeemed up to three years from the date the property is sold, but per state law, a 5% penalty will apply as well as a monthly interest rate of 1%. The owner must contact the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office to redeem the property.

Any unpaid taxes on movable/inventory property may cause the property in questions to be seized and sold at auction or a writ may be sought to levy the property owner’s bank account for the amount of taxes owed.

The current property owner is responsible for all taxes due. Anyone who purchased property in 2019 may not receive a tax bill due to it being sent to the previous owner. Homeowners with mortgages should check with their mortgage company before making a payment as those companies generally collect escrow and pay property taxes on behalf of the property owner. Please check whether your mortgage company will make your tax payment before you make a separate payment directly to the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Questions regarding property ownership and assessment should be directed to the Lafourche Parish Assessor’s Office at (985) 447-7242. For more information about tax payments, property owners can contact the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office at (985) 449-4431.

UPDATE: Missing Cut Off Teen Returns Home

UPDATE: Skylor Rachal returned to her home overnight. She was found to be safe and in good health. She had been missing since leaving her home on October 13, 2019.

 

ORIGINAL RELEASE:

Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre is asking for the public’s help in locating 15-year-old Skylor Rachal of Cut Off. Rachal was last seen leaving her East 95th Street residence and walking up the street at around 10:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 13, 2019.

Rachal is described as 5’7” tall, weighing approximately 150 pounds with brown hair. She was last seen wearing a blue long sleeve shirt, denim shorts, brown sandals, and brown glasses. Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to call the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office at (985) 532-2808, or simply dial 9-1-1.

Skylor Rachal

 

Area law enforcement agencies to participate in “No Shave November”

No Shave November

Several area law enforcement agencies are working together to participate in No Shave November, a national effort to raise awareness and funding for the fight against cancer in the month of November.

Deputies and officers who donate $25 will be allowed to grow a beard during the month of November. Typically, per policy, many agencies prohibit facial hair other than a mustache. These policies will be suspended for the month of November for those who donate money at each agency.

The Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office spearheaded the project and challenged several other agencies that were up for the challenge. Other agencies participating include the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office, Thibodaux Police Department, Lockport Police Department, Golden Meadow Police Department, Port Fourchon Harbor Police, Gonzales Police Department, and the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office.

All money collected will be donated to the American Cancer Society at the end of the month. The American Cancer Society funds and conducts research, shares expert information, supports patients, and spreads the word about prevention. For more information on the American Cancer Society, please visit their website: www.cancer.org.

Sheriff Craig Webre stated: “Our local law enforcement officers may look a little ‘different’ in November, but it’s for a great cause. Each of us has been directly affected or knows someone who’s been affected by cancer – and our law enforcement family is no exception. By growing our beards, we are embracing our hair, which many cancer patients lose during treatment.”

The public is welcomed to join in our efforts to participate to raise money for this great cause. Checks can be made out to the American Cancer Society and dropped off at any Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office location.

Woman Arrested for Burglaries and Thefts in Lockport

Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre announced a woman has been arrested for a string of burglaries and thefts in Lockport last week. Misty Kuramoto, 29, of Lockport faces multiple charges following an investigation.

On October 24, 2019, deputies investigated a string of crimes in the 5300 block of LA Highway 1 in Lockport. Three vehicles had been burglarized, and sets of keys were stolen from other vehicles. A wallet and several access cards were also stolen among other items.

Misty Kuramoto was developed as a suspect in the crimes. She was found to be in possession of the stolen items which were later returned to the respective owners. She was also found to be in possession of a small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Kuramoto was charged with three counts of Simple Burglary, two counts of Theft, Possession of Marijuana, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Bail is set at $30,850.

Misty Kuramoto
Misty Kuramoto

Sheriff Webre Announces 2019 Blue Light Patrol Special and Offers Halloween Safety Tips

Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre announced deputies will conduct the annual Blue Light Special patrol on Halloween in order to help keep trick-or-treaters safe. More than 100 deputies will patrol the streets of Lafourche Parish neighborhoods beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 31. This patrol will continue until at least 8:30 p.m. during the peak hours of trick-or-treating. Deputies will patrol with emergency lights activated to remind motorists to drive slowly and exercise extreme caution as children take to the streets.

“We encourage adults to eliminate distractions and be vigilant in supervising their children this year, said Sheriff Webre. “We will have deputies patrolling in every neighborhood throughout the parish to ensure safety and ensure a quick response in the event of an emergency.”

Sheriff Webre offers these Halloween safety tips:

  • Make your child’s costume distinguishable and safe. Ensure your child can easily walk in the costume and that the fabric is flame retardant. Use glow bracelets/sticks, reflective tape, and flashlights. With store-bought costumes, change or add something to make your child distinguishable from others.
  • Maintain proper supervision for your children. If you must entrust your child to another adult, obtain up-to-date contact information. If they are headed out with a group, make sure there is a buddy system in place.
  • Stay off your smartphone. Adults should be vigilant while supervising children, and no one should be walking along the roadside while looking down or distracted. Carry a standard flashlight instead of draining your smartphone battery by attempting to use the built-in light.
  • Inspect all treats collected. Discard anything that is not sealed, has torn packaging, looks questionable, or could be a choking hazard.
  • Talk to your children about safety. Remind them to walk (don’t run) on sidewalks or near the edge of the roadway – never in the center and always facing traffic. Remind them to stay in front of residences giving out candy and NEVER enter a residence. Have a plan for in case you and your child get separated. Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.

Residents are encouraged to prepare their homes for trick-or-treaters. Clear sidewalks and pathways of any obstacles, and put away anything children could trip over such as hoses, toys, or yard decorations. Turn on your lights so your property is well-lit, and replace any burnt bulbs prior to Halloween. Secure pets so that they will not attack or frighten anyone.

Motorists are encouraged to keep travel to a minimum on Halloween night due to the high number of pedestrians on neighborhood streets. Those who must be on the roads are encouraged to drive cautiously and be alert for children as they will be excited and may move in unpredictable ways.

Deputies will also be conducting compliance checks for sex offenders on Halloween night. Sex offenders are restricted from wearing masks or handing out candy or gifts on a holiday such as Halloween. Deputies will visit sex offenders in Lafourche Parish to verify they are complying with the terms of their sentences.