Crime numbers on the rise in Blytheville

BLYTHEVILLE, AR (KAIT) - Blytheville is experiencing a long hot summer and crime numbers are up.

Capt. Scott Adams Commands the Blytheville Police Department Criminal Investigation Department, he says the overall crime numbers are down from 2010.

Adams says homicides are down, but strong arm robberies are up, and the department is seeing an increase in parking lot robberies. He also says burglaries are up from 196 at this time last year to 290 for 2011.

"They shopped at my house like they Wal-Mart. Playstations, space heaters, vacuum cleaners, food out of my refrigerator." Danelle is one of many Blytheville residents that have experienced a burglary and she is not alone.

Danelle, "And my brother they stole his playstation 3 and they tried to steal his big screen TV but couldn't get it out."

Adams says the types of robberies have changed from last year.

Adams, "This year the robberies are more of a strong armed robbery not so much a business robbery."

Adams says there have been shots fired and some beatings with these robberies. No victims were shot but one victim was beaten hard.

There have been robberies at convenience stores  parking lots and one in an alley after midnight.

The biggest jump number wise is in Breaking and Entering's and burglaries. So far this year there are nearly a hundred more burglaries than this time last year. 196 compared to 290.

Adams, "Most of our residential burglaries are of the nature of when they break in."

Danelle, "If you go to my house it's just regular, nothing special cause I'm afraid I'll get broke in again."

Captain Adams says that the recent rash of burglaries is on the Northwest side of town.they are taking preventative steps.

Adams, "We've beefed up our patrols, we're saturating areas that we believe there are problems in."

Adams said homeowners need to install security doors, alarms, trim back bushes that block window view from the streets.

Adams, " I mean something as simple as turning on a light on your porch that deters crime."

Captain Adams says that they usually see an increase in burglaries this time of year because, he says, "School is out."

Adams, "We see an increase when children are out of school . We have a lot of burglaries that are committed by juveniles."

Overall, I asked Adams, Is Blytheville a rough town?

Adams, "We have a lot of really good people in Blytheville we really do. We do have a criminal element in Blytheville and we're working on getting rid of that."

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