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Joplin Police: crime in city up slightly - KOAM TV 7

Joplin Police: crime in city up slightly

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

Sales at Wireless Connections, a home security/surveillance camera dealer in Joplin, are up. But, that's because crime in the city is also up.

Joplin Police Department released its quarterly 2016 IMPACT report, which tracks crimes common in the area such as assault, robbery, burglary and vandalism. Though crime overall is up 4 percent, thefts from vehicles are up an alarming 29 percent, reporting 400 crimes in 2016 to date compared to 309 in 2015 at this time.

"Whenever neighborhoods have crime, we tend to see an uptake in interest in security systems and video surveillance systems. Those are our two main things. Video systems to actually try and catch somebody, and then a security system to try and prevent something from happening," owner Jeff Welborn at Wireless Connections said.

Surveillance equipment sales rises steadily over time, but Welborn credits society being more aware of crime uptake.

Captain Bob Higginbotham with Joplin PD explains that the consistencies police are seeing in theft from vehicles is from items like purses or firearms being left on the seat in plain sight. Fifteen firearms have been stolen from vehicles in the first half of 2016.

"The consistencies that we're seeing are at your driveway overnight when you're leaving your valuables in your vehicle, and while you're out shopping. If you're leaving your valuables where they are readily observable," Higginbotham said.

Police examine whether any areas are concentrated with crime. In 2016, thefts from vehicles were largely city-wide. Increased patrol will be mostly at hotels and shopping areas.

When a theft from a vehicle is reported, officers will come to the scene and process the vehicle for evidence.

"The misunderstanding is that there's a lot of evidence available. But typically, they're punching your car with a screwdriver or some other sort of tool and there's typically not going to be any fingerprints or anything like that. You've simply lost your item," Higginbotham said.

Burglary is up 10 percent while vandalism is up 13 percent. Crimes such as robbery, arson and homicide are down in 2016.

Rape is up 78 percent with 16 rape cases being reported this year to date as opposed to nine in 2015, however, Higginbotham reports the overwhelming majority of those rapes were inter-personal relationships, such as an estranged husband and wife or dating couple. The police department will make efforts to educate the public using resources like Lafayette House to combat the number of cases of rape.


 

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