LIMA — A decrease in crime in Allen County in 2013 has Sheriff Sam Crish smiling as well as crediting many factors from good police work to good guys arming themselves with guns.
“Anytime any of the numbers go down it’s a positive thing,” Crish said.
The numbers the Sheriff’s Office reports to the FBI for the annual Uniform Crime Report issued in the fall showed a decline in six of the seven categories. The only category with a slight increase was motor vehicle thefts from 35 in 2012 to 37 in 2013.
Crish continues to tout the partnership his department has with the Lima Police Department and other agencies in the county. He said officers work together to fight crime.
The county saw one less murder in 2013 at zero compared to one the year before. There were six reported rapes compared to 15 the year before and seven robberies compared to 12 the year before. Assaults fell by 60 from 538 in 2012 to 478 last year.
Crish also said he’s pushed to have more deputies on the roads increasing the presence in areas especially if there’s a spike in crime in an area.
The number of burglaries declined from 311 in 2012 to 240 in 2013, which Crish credited to several people hitting numerous homes and residents arming themselves.
“With [concealed handgun licenses], there’s a lot of people who want to protect themselves and I think the bad guy knows that,” he said.
Most burglaries happen during the day when people are gone to work. Burglars knock on the door and break in if no one answers, he said.
“During the daytime, they make entry hoping nobody is home. They don’t want to be confronted,” Crish said.
Additionally, people are making their homes harder targets installing alarm systems, extra lighting and making sure it’s harder to get inside, he said.
Authorities also captured several people in 2012 who were hitting a lot of houses putting them in prison.
“There were several responsible for a few burglaries all over,” Crish said.
Another category that showed a significant drop was theft crimes going from 817 in 2012 to 750 in 2013. Crish said theft crimes has always been the highest category on the list.
“You’re looking at incidents at shopping centers,” he said. “The reason that I believe that we have a high theft problem is that’s how the individuals support their drug habit.”
Deputies constantly are told by people committing theft crimes they did it to buy drugs, Crish said.
“When we reduce the drug problem in our community, the theft rate will go down,” Crish said.