Sheriff Babb: Crimes against persons declined in 2018

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North central Fayette leads in crime numbers, followed by northeast Fayette and east-central and southeast Fayette; highest crime concentration within Ga. highways 85-279 area — 

The 2018 crime report prepared for the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office by Phoenix Analytics showed an overall increase of 28 percent in serious crimes, which included a large jump coming in the number of entering auto crimes.

The report, using a variety of data sets, tracked the occurrence of Part 1 crimes, which include the more serious offenses, such as homicides, rape, burglary, assault and entering autos.

A breakdown of Part 1 crimes in 2018 showed an overall increase of 28 percent over 2017, with most crime categories down and with the increases coming most significantly in the category of entering autos.

In the most serious categories, homicides dropped from two in 2017 to zero in 2018. Robbery dropped by half, from eight in 2017 down to four in 2018. Rape remained the same: seven in 2017 and seven in 2018. Aggravated assaults were down one — 24 down to 23 — in 2018. And burglaries decreased by 9 percent, from 98 in 2017 down to 89 in 2018.

Unlike most other Part 1 crimes, it is noteworthy in any jurisdiction that entering autos are sometimes committed where the person or persons committing the crime enters multiple autos in a neighborhood or commercial parking lot.

By way of example, an Atlanta man was recently arrested on charges of entering nearly a dozen autos in one subdivision, with additional entering auto changes pending.

In terms of the most targeted items stolen from vehicles in 2018, there were 32 firearms stolen, 32 ID fraud items stolen, 24 electronics, 11 with cash stolen and four with tools stolen.

Sheriff Barry Babb said stolen firearms present a real problem.

“We want to get the word out that people need to secure their vehicles and not leave a firearm in it,” Babb said. “I’m amazed at the number of unlocked vehicles with firearms inside.”

Referencing an affiliated issue which might come as a surprise to some, Babb said it appears that some of the vehicles with guns stolen, especially with forced entries, had some form of decal on the vehicle noting that the owner is, or was, involved with the military, is a supporter of the law enforcement Thin Blue Line organization or is a hunting advocate.

Non-vehicular thefts can include a variety of types of theft, such as shoplifting when several hundred dollars in merchandise is stolen, thus rising to the level of a felony.

The report also broke down the occurrence of Part 1 crimes in 2018 by geographic zones, the day or the week and the time of the day.

Zone 1 includes a large area of west and north central Fayette, Zone 2 covers a small section of north central Fayette, Zone 3 includes a small area of northeast Fayette, Zone 4 includes a large portion of central and southwest Fayette and Zone 5 covers a large portion of east central and southeast Fayette.

The analysis of Part 1 crimes by zone showed: 82 crimes in Zone 1; 110 crimes in Zone 2; 107 crimes in Zone 3; 98 crimes in Zone 4; and 105 crimes in Zone 5.

Mapping crime locations showed higher concentrations of Part 1 crimes in the area of Ga. Highway 85 and Ga. Highway 279, with the predominate crime being entering autos, the analysis noted.

The days of the week when Part 1 crimes were committed showed Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays with the largest occurrence, while weekend days saw significantly fewer serious crimes: Monday – 99 crimes; Tuesday- 99 crimes; Friday- 86 crimes; Thursday – 71 crimes; Tuesday – 66 crimes; Saturday – 56 crimes; and Sunday – 54 crimes.

An analysis of the time of day when Part 1 crimes occurred in 2018 revealed that 2-5 p.m. has the highest incidence of those crimes. Smaller peaks in Part 1 crime activity came during the morning hours and between 9-10 p.m.