Crime At 20-year Low In Sulphur Springs During First Six Months Of 2019

New record low set for burglaries

Crime declined in Sulphur Springs during the first half of 2019, with 26 fewer crimes recorded overall in the seven major crime reporting categories in 2019 than the 93 crimes recorded from Jan. 1-June 30, 2018, by Sulphur Springs Police Department.

That’s only the fifth time in 20 years that there have been fewer than 100 crimes recorded during the first half of the year, but marks the third consecutive year there have been less than 100 crimes recorded overall in the seven categories during the first six months of the year.

In fact, the 67 crimes recorded overall by SSPD during the first six months of 2019 is a new 20-year record low. The previous low for Jan. 1-June 30 was 72 crimes set in 2017, followed by 81 crimes in 2012, 93 in 2018 and 95 in 2011.

Crime declined in four of the seven major reporting categories, with the most significant declines in the burglary and theft categories.

Only 32 thefts of property valued at more than $200 were recorded in 2019, the same as in 2012, when the record low was set. That’s also 17 less thefts in 2019 than in 2018, and less than half the record high of 86 thefts recorded in 2006.

Only six burglaries were recorded in the first half of 2019 in Sulphur Springs, 14 fewer than in 2018. That’s a new record low for overall number of burglaries recorded. Previously the fewest overall number of burglaries during the first half of the year was set at 12 in 2017. The most burglaries posted during the Jan. 1-June 30 period was 70 in 2004.

The overall number of burglaries is the composite of building and home burglaries, which SSPD has tracked separately since 2004. New record lows were also set in each, with only three home and three building burglaries recorded by Sulphur Springs police during the first first six months of 2019. The previous low for home burglaries was seven in 2017. The previous low for building burglaries was set at five in 2013 and repeated in 2017. The overall high was 70 burglaries in 2004, the year home burglaries peaked at 47 and building burglaries climbed to a 20-year high of 23.

Sulphur Springs Police Chief Jason Ricketson attributed the decrease in these categories in 2019 to the hard work of officers out patrolling the streets and serving as a visible deterrent, as well as the work of police detectives on cases.

Two additional categories, homicide and sexual assault also declined.
There were no homicides recorded during the first half of 2019, the same as in 14 other years. That’s down from only one homicide in 2018, the same as reported in 2009, 2011 and 2015. The 20-year high for homicides recorded by SSPD during the first six months of the year was set at two in 2003.

There was also one less sexual assault recorded in the city from Jan. 1 to June 30, 2019, than the five of 2018. That’s still only one-third of the record high of 12 sexual assaults recorded in 2013.

Three robberies were reported during the first half of 2019, the same as in 2018, 2001, 2004 and 2007. The 20-year high of seven robberies was recorded during the first half of 2000; in only one year, 2014, were no robberies recorded by SSPD during the first half of the year.

While four categories declined, crime in two categories rose.

There were three more vehicle thefts recorded by SSPD from Jan. 1 through June 30 of 2019 than during the same period in 2018. While still more than three times the record low of four recorded in 2009, the 13 vehicle thefts recorded during the first half of 2019 was still only half the 20-year record high of 25 vehicle thefts reported in 2001 and repeated in 2003. It’s still the most vehicle thefts reported in the last 15 years, however.

Nine assaults other than simple assaults were reported in 2019. While less than half the 20-year record high of 20 aggravated assaults set in 2000 and repeated in 2001, that’s still nearly twice as many as in the first six months of 2018, when only one more aggravated assault was reported than the record low of four set in 2013.

Author: Faith Huffman

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