Crime rate climbs in first half of year
Rate still second lowest of the decade
Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor

July 12, 2006 - The crime rate in Sulphur Springs rose in the first half of this year from the first six months of 2005, but that doesn't mean the city is a hotbed of lawlessness.

True, there were 156 crimes reported in Sulphur Springs from January through June, 34 more than the same time period last year.

But the 28 percent increase only makes this year’s crime numbers the second-lowest recorded in five years so far, and the third lowest in seven years, according to Uniform Crime Reports data provided by Sulphur Springs Police Department.

The Uniform Crime Reports, or UCR, track seven categories -- homicide, sexual assault, robbery, assault other than simple, residential and building burglaries, theft over $200 and motor vehicle thefts.

Of the seven major crime categories, only one saw a slight drop, two were unchanged and the rest increased at least marginally. 

Burglaries and thefts over $200 accounted for the largest gains over last year’s figures.

In fact, there were more thefts of items valued at more than $200 this year than in the first six months of any of the past seven years. This year's 86 thefts were the most this decade and more than 33 percent above the 65 reported last year. The previous high was 85 in the year 2000. Thefts were at their lowest in 2001, when only 53 were reported.

As of June 30, there had been 42 burglaries this year, nine more than last year, but considerably less than the 70 recorded in 2004.

There have been 26 residences and 16 buildings broken into between Jan. 1 and June 30 of this year. In 2005, there were 22 residential and 11 building burglaries, considerably fewer than the 47 residential and 23 building break-ins in 2004. This year's overall burglary total for the first six months mirrors that of 2001 when 42 were recorded.  Figures show that overall, there were 49 burglaries in 2003, 52 in 2002 and 44 in 2000.

Motor vehicle theft declined by one from 12 to 11, tying 2004 for the seven-year low.

There were 14 assaults other than simple this year, up four from 2005.

There were no homicides in the first six months of either 2005 or 2006 and only one sexual assault in each year. 

Compared to a decade ago, Sulphur Springs' crime rate is way, way down. In the first half of 1996, the number of crimes reported in the city stood at 214. That was down from 344 in the first half of 1995.

And consider this: There were more thefts in the first six months of 1995 — 163 — than all the crimes reported so far this year.

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