Vehicle burglaries up 36% in 2016
Motor vehicles in Burleson can be easy targets for thieves, Police Chief Billy Cordell says.
Twenty-one of the 25 vehicles burglarized in May and 89 of 109 burglarized this year were without force.
"That means they are not locked and something valuable is probably being left behind," Cordell said. "Always remove your valuables and lock your vehicles."
The 20 vehicles that have been burglarized by force is likely because something of value was visible, he said. The 109 burglaries represents a 36 percent increase compared to the first five months of 2015.
While vehicle burglary has increased, Cordell praised a 15 percent decline in home and non-residential burglary cases this year realized in Burleson's most recent crime data report for May and the year-to-date.
"Burglary being down is always pleasing," Cordell said. "We haven't done a special detail, so it might be attributable to good patrol work and some luck."
Shoplifting is down by 10 percent from comparable months in 2015, while motor vehicle parts theft is down 62 percent and vehicle theft is down by 20 percent. All Part 1 crimes, known as major crimes, are down 2 percent.
There's a growing concern with simple assault cases on the rise in Burleson. The 119 family violence assaults in 2016 is a an increase of 50 cases from comparable months in 2015. There have been 20 more non-family assaults than for the same period in 2015.
"That's pretty significant," Cordell said. "We partner with the Safe City Commission, and so we're working with them to address these cases."
He predicts officers will be supplied with materials to help families address violence.
Data also reflects a 68 percent increase in drug law violations. The 94 cases is just 24 shy of all cases in 2016.
"This is bad news in the fact that drugs are out there," Cordell said, "but I think it is a positive that we are taking drugs off the street and out of our community."
The 34 runaway cases reported in 2016 is six more than in all of 2015, but it could be misleading, Cordell said.
"We have several repeat offenders," he said. "We're fortunate to have found them all, in many cases within hours. We believe they are running away, but they're not entering a trafficking trade."
The report also defines an uptick of 10 percent in adult arrests, including a 31 percent increase from comparable months in 2015. Total calls for service are down by 10 percent. Reported crashes are down by 10 percent.
"We have a lot of traffic accidents in Burleson," Cordell said. "I think that's a product of [Interstate 35W] and all the traffic on Wilshire and Renfro. The decrease in accidents may be indicative of everyone becoming more comfortable with the changes we've had on Wilshire."
A surprise in the monthly report is red-light citations, Cardell said, which are trending up by 79 percent for the year. There have been 5,930 violations since December, compared to 3,321 during the same period last year.
"The goal of red-light cameras is to put ourselves out of business," Cordell said. "Nothing would make us happier than to have no violations."