Groves crime continues to drop

Published 5:45 pm Monday, February 12, 2018

GROVES — For the past 15 years the city of Groves has seen a decline in violent and serious crimes.

Groves City Marshal Norman Reynolds Jr. presented the 2017 Uniform Crime Report with statistics dating back to 2002 for comparison. The violent and serious crimes, called index crimes, are murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, theft and auto theft. The 2017 total came in a 461 compared to 2016’s total of 470. Back in 2002 the total index crime figure was 745.

“We did not have any murders to report for 2017,” Reynolds said. “We did have an increase in both rapes and auto thefts.”

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Rape went from eight in 2016 to 13 in 2017. One possible reason for the increase could be that the legal definition of rape changed and broadened in 2012.

Auto theft also went up, going from 20 to 31 cases. Reynolds said the reason for the increase could be due to the number of all-terrain and utility vehicles stolen.

But all of the other index crimes went down.

Robberies went from 13 in 2016 to 10 in 2017; aggravated assault went from 62 in 2016 to 54 in 2017; burglary bumped down by one, going from 86 to 85 reported cases and theft dropped from 281 in 2016 to 268 in 2017.

Sometimes in small cities all it takes if one burglar to rack up a big umber of crimes.

“In small cities, one guy can do 50 auto burglaries which can really inflate our numbers; just one person in a small time frame. We’re fortunate we don’t have a big problem with that,” he said.

The UCR is a compilation of information on crime in the U.S. published by the FBI that began in 1929.

Reynolds said the state of Texas is transitioning towards a different system called the National Incident Based Reporting System with a possible start date in 2019.

The new system, according to the FBI website, is believed to improve the overall quality of crime data collected by law enforcement, captures details on each single crime incident, as well as on separate offenses within the same incident, including information on victims, known offenders, relationships between victims and offenders, arrestees and property involved in the crimes.