Stats show major crimes decreased year-to-year in Jefferson Co.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Major crimes including homicides, rapes, robberies and assaults are down year to year from January to August, according to stats released by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.
The Metro Area Crime Center stats show in Jefferson County, not including Birmingham, there has been a decrease in major crimes. Vehicle burglaries and vehicle thefts are up.
Sheriff Mark Pettway stresses his deputies are doing everything they can. That’s why violent crime levels have dropped but vehicle theft is up sixteen percent and vehicle burglary is up nineteen percent. Still he says the department is working to lower those numbers.
“We did disrupt a couple of car rings right here in this very area and we are still trying to uncover some of the other car rings going on right here in this area,” said Sheriff Mark Pettway.
So far this year there’s been 253 car thefts in Jefferson county, compared to 218 to the same time last year.
Birmingham Police are also dealing with this problem.
Saying its three most stolen cars are Chargers, Challengers and Camaros.
Those are stolen at a high rate in the county too, but there’s a different trend officers are seeing.
“When we say vehicle thefts are up it is not one or two happening here and there. It is a group who will go out at and go through a neighborhood at night and just selectively hit that entire neighborhood and that is what gets the numbers up so high,” said Lieutenant Russell Starns.
The Sheriff’s office is now deploying its Sheriff’s Neighborhood Enforcement Team, or SNET, to try and reduce the number of thefts and burglaries.
“So what we will do is send out SNET team or send increased patrols and deputies at that time and send out SNET team to the area and try and direct it and see if we can address the issues,” said Lieutenant Russell Starns.
Still law enforcement leaders say there is an easy way to protect your property.
“Sometimes if people would just lock their cars and keep their valuables out of them it would reduce those numbers a lot. I have been in patrol for twenty years and it still greatly surprises me at the number of cars we find unlocked with guns in them at night,” said Starns.
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