Thefts represent 7 out of 10 serious crimes in Fayette: Sheriff’s annual report

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Crime hotspots in Fayette County. Map from the Fayette County Sheriff's Department.
Crime hotspots in Fayette County. Map from the Fayette County Sheriff's Department.

1 homicide, 1 rape and 2 robberies last year — 

The Fayette County Sheriff’s Office 2021 Annual Crime Report showed essentially no increase in total serious crime numbers over 2020. Noteworthy in the report was that nearly 70 percent of serious crimes were thefts, either from a vehicle or other locations.

The report noted that Part 1 crimes, those of a serious nature, totaled 337 for 2021. That compares to 336 Part 1 crimes in 2020 and 381 in 2019, representing a 12 percent decrease since 2019.

A breakdown of the individual crime categories in 2021 showed nearly 70 percent of Part 1 crimes were thefts of personal property. Of those, 90 were thefts from vehicles (entering auto) while 140 were non-vehicle thefts of personal property, including shoplifting.

Those numbers compare to 92 entering auto cases and 152 non-vehicle larceny cases in 2020.

The incidents of entering autos takes place often throughout the county. That reality accounts for all law enforcement agencies advising motorists to never leave a vehicle unlocked at home or in the community and to never leave anything of value in plain sight.

Fayette County Sheriff Barry Babb.
Fayette County Sheriff Barry Babb.

In other Part 1 crimes, the report showed an increase in burglaries, with 60 occurring in 2021 compared to 45 in 2020, representing a 33 percent increase. Those years compare to 2019, when there were 93 burglaries reported and representing a 35 percent decrease over 2021.

Auto thefts in 2021 remained nearly the same as in 2020, with 29 occurring in 2021 and 28 in 2020.

In other serious crime categories, there were 14 cases of aggravated assault in 2021, compared to 12 in 2020 and 24 in 2019.

Last year ended with one homicide, as was also the case in 2020, while in 2019 there were three homicides.

Also in 2021, there were two robberies and one case of rape. That compares to two robbery cases and four cases of rape in 2020.

When viewed by the day of the week, there were 54 Part 1 crimes committed on Sundays and 53 on Saturdays. The lowest number of Part 1 crimes came during mid-week, with 43 on Wednesdays and 44 on Tuesdays.

Viewed geographically, the county is divided into five zones, with the largest number of Part 1 crimes occurring in northeast Fayette. The number of Part 1 crimes by zone showed:

• Zone 1 (northwest Fayette and portions of north central) – 54

• Zone 2 (portions of north central Fayette) – 48

• Zone 3 (northeast Fayette) – 137

• Zone 4 (portions of central, west central and southwest Fayette) – 43

• Zone 5 (east central and southeast Fayette) – 55

The report noted several matters pertaining to the Part 1 crimes in the various zones. Those included:

– Zone 4 in 2021 experienced the largest decrease in crime compared to 2020, at 37 percent.

– Zone 3 saw a large increase in crime compared to 2020, up 59 percent. This was caused by several larceny crimes reported in May.

– Mapping crime locations showed higher concentrations of Part 1 crimes in the area of Ga. highways 85 and 279, with the predominant crime being larceny.

The annual report also provided the vehicle crash “hot spots” throughout the county. Those areas in 2021 included Ga. Highway 54 East at Banks Road, Ga. Highway 92 North at Westbridge Road/Veterans Parkway, Ga. Highway 279 at Ga. Highway 314 and Ga. Highway 85 North at Ga. Highway 279.

The highest number of vehicle crashes (261) occurred on Wednesdays, with the lowest number on Sundays (143). As for the time of day, the highest number of crashes occurred at noon and from 3-6 p.m.

Finally, the report noted that there were seven traffic fatalities in 2021. A breakdown of the contributing factors leading to the fatalities included speed (3), distraction (1), wrong side of roadway (1), disregard of a stop signal (1) and failure to yield (1).