Monday, February 1, 2010

Police Chief Larry Rinehart writes about recent wave of local burglaries for Bexley Public Radio.

From December 29, 2009, to January 22, 2010, our city experienced eight burglaries in the area of College and Sheridan Avenues.

About half of those victims were Capital University students, some home for the holidays when the crimes were committed.

As I write this, we have a good picture of one suspect and we continue to work the crimes very aggressively. Our officers take this spike in burglaries personally.

Putting the criminals in jail is a top priority.

Our police officers and detectives have a very good track record in solving these type of crimes.

For instance, in a ten day period over the holidays we arrested three separate groups of thieves who were committing daytime burglaries in other parts of Bexley.

One of those groups made it a practice to burglarize homes in Bexley and in other communities via the COTA bus system. That was a first for me.

Unfortunately, no community is immune from this scourge.

Our task is often more challenging due to our proximity to some depressed communities and the major roads that pass through our city. In spite of that, our officers, with the help of vigilant community members and some good community watch groups, do a great job of stemming the tide of crime.

In 2008 we received and responded to 13,665 calls for police service. In 2009 that number dropped to 12,370, in large part due to our pro-active police patrol and crime mapping; we intervened and interacted with criminals before a resident had to call the police.

In 2008 we filed 632 charges on people. In 2009 that number rose to 782, again due to good patrol and investigative police work. In 2008 we made 474 physical arrests. That number rose to 628 in 2009, further evidence of effective patrol and investigative work.

While our detective hours required to solve crimes and bring criminals to justice is significantly increasing (mostly due to the types of crimes; ID theft, etc.), the amount of reported crime committed in our city is not increasing.

We have actually seen a decrease of burglaries and Breaking & Entering crimes from 132 in 2007 to 115 in 2008 to 104 in 2009.

As shown by the increase in charges filed and physical arrests, criminals are coming to Bexley in slightly larger numbers.

However, through vigilant police patrol and effective investigation, along with help from a vigilant community, we are effectively interacting with more criminals than ever, before they commit their crime and before the community calls the police department to report a crime.

Even though we put more patrol cars on the street on every shift than any other 2.5 square miles in Franklin County that I know of, our recent arrests of burglars was due to vigilant residents keeping a watchful eye out in their neighborhoods and quickly calling the police when they observed suspicious, out of place activity.

Even though in 2009 we put well over 200,000 miles on police cars patrolling our city, we still need the help of watchful community members to catch criminals and keep our city safe. We hope that this Spring will see the rise of even more community watch groups.

We also need residents and landlords to keep our Bexley homes secure by ensuring that doors and windows lock securely.

Several of our recent burglaries were of residences where every door and window did not lock correctly, allowing criminals easy access. We are working with the Capital University Police Department to spread these safety points to their student population.

Rest assured that your police department is working diligently to discourage criminals from coming to Bexley and to arrest those who come here and commit crimes. As always, we welcome your input, tips, and vigilance in this effort.

If you see a crime in progress call 911. If you see potentially suspicious activity, have information about a crime, or are interested in finding out more about how to start a block watch, call the police non-emergency number at 559-4444. Thank you, Larry Rinehart

Larry Rinehart
Chief of Police
City of Bexley, Ohio
614 559-4444

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