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Crime In Sulphur Springs In First 6 Months Of 2022 Sets New 23-Year Low

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Crime in Sulphur Springs declined overall in the first 6 months of 2022, setting a new 23-year Jan. 1-June 30 low. Only 59 offenses were recorded by Sulphur Springs Police Department from January 1-June 30, 2022, in the 7 major offense categories, the fewest number of Jan. 1-June 30 offenses reported since 2000.

Previously, the fewest number of offenses was 62 recorded in 2021 and 67 in 2018. In fact, the total number offenses recorded by SSPD in the 7 major offense categories (the Uniform Crime Reports law enforcement agencies are required to report to state and federal authorities) didn’t fall below 100 until 2011 and 2012, when only 95, then 81 offenses were recorded, then returned to 3 digits for January-June for the next 3 years. The offense total has remained below 100 since 2017.

The most offenses recorded by SSPD from Jan. 1-June 30 since 2000 was 181 in 2004, with 2000 and 2003 tied for second with 173 crimes each in the seven major offense categories, according to crime statistics reported semi-annually by SSPD.

Property Crimes

One less theft of property or merchandise valued at more than $200 was reported during the first half of 2022 than the previous low of 28 reported during the first 6 months of 2021, setting a new record of 27 for the category. The most thefts over $200 reported from Jan. 1-June 30, since 2000 was 86 in 2006, a year in which a total of 156 crimes were recorded by SSPD.

Only seven burglaries were recorded during the first 6 months of 2022, just one shy of the 23-year record low of six recorded in 2019 and just more than in 2020. That’s only half the total reported in during the first half of 2021, however. The most burglaries reported during the first half of the year in Sulphur Springs. The most burglaries recorded for Sulphur Springs from Jan. 1-June 30 in the past 23 years was 70 set in 2004, and second highest number of burglaries during the first half of the year was 52 in 2002. This category didn’t dip below 25 until 2016, when 20 burglaries were recorded. Only once since then has that many burglaries been recorded since; 20 burglaries were recorded for Sulphur Springs in 2020 as well.

In 2004, SSPD also began tracking home and building burglaries separately. Only 3 building burglaries were reported during the first 6 months of 2022 for Sulphur Springs, tying 2019 for the record low. The most building burglaries recorded during the first half of the year during the last 19 years was 23 in 2004, when a total of 70 burglaries were recorded during the first half of the year.

Four home burglaries, or burglaries of habitations as they are legally called, were reported by SSPD during the first half of 2004, the same as in 2020, and one fewer than in 2021, but still one more than the record low of three home burglaries recorded in 2018 and repeated in 2019. The most home burglaries reported by SSPD since the agency began tracking and reporting the two types separately was 47 in 2004, with 2012 in second with 31 and 2008 the third highest with 29 home burglaries.

Another category more than cut in half during the 2021 semiannual report was vehicle thefts. This category declined from 12 during the first half of 2021 to 5 in the first half of 2022, the same as in 2010, and just one stolen car shy of the record low of four recorded during the first 6 months of 2009.The most vehicle thefts recorded from Jan. 1-June 30 over hte past 23 years was 25, first reported in 2001 and repeated in 2003. In fact, 2001 and 2003 were the only semiannual period (in which more than 20 vehicles were reported stolen.

Crimes Against People

While crime was down in all three property categories, unfortunately, crime rose in all four categories for violent offenses or crimes against people, during the first 6 months of 2022, compared to the same period in 2021, accounting for the 20 remaining crimes recorded by SSPD in 2022.

One homicide was recorded by SSPD during the first 6 months of 2022, the same as in 2009, 2011, 2015 and 2018. However, since no homicides (murders) were recorded during hte first half of 2021, that’s a 100% increase. It should be noted that the offense actually occurred in December 2021. Although a vehicle crash it resulted in a fatality; While the official charge wasn’t murder, according to the law, it is coded the same way and must be counted as a homicide. Because of the length of time SSPD spent on the crash investigation, the case wasn’t filed until 2022, according to SSPD officials. In only two years have there been more homicides reported from January-June of the year since 2000, two in 2003 and three in 2020. No homicides recorded in the 16 other years since 2000.

Six sexual assaults were reported during the first half of 2022, the same as in 2014, but two more than in 2003, 2019, 2020 and 2021. In 3 years — 2002, 2011 and 2012 — no sexual assaults were reported during the first half of the year. The most sexual assaults reported in Sulphur Springs during the first half of the year since 2000 was 12 in 2013, the only year during the past 23 in which the total of sexual assaults posted from Jan. 1-June 30 reached two digits.

Two robberies were recorded in 2022. A 28-year-old Arp man was accused of assaulting a date who rebuffed his sexual advances, then used an app on her phone to transfer money to himself on Feb. 17, 2022, police reported after Jimmy Ray Mason Jr. turned himself in on Feb. 21, 2022 and was arrested on the robbery and attempted sexual assault warrants. A man also was accused at lunch time on June 15, 2022, of robbing Pilgrim Bank, then fleeing.

That’s two more robberies than were reported during 2021, one of only 2 years in which there were no no robberies during the first 6 months of the year. The most robberies recorded from Jan. 1 to June 30 in Sulphur Springs was the seen reported in 2000.

Eleven assaults other than simple, or aggravated assaults, were reported in Sulphur Springs from Jan. 1 to June 30, 2022, up from the record low of 4 assaults recorded in 2013 nd repeated in 2021. That’s still almost half as many aggravated assaults recorded in 2000 and repeated in 2021. Over the last 10 years, there have only been more 10 or more in three years, 15 in 2015, 12 assaults in 2020 and 11 in 2022.

Author: Faith Huffman

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