Butler County law enforcement asks for the public’s help in stopping crime

Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 7:33 PM CDT
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BUTLER COUNTY, Mo. (KFVS) - County law enforcement said it needs your help solving a recent string of car thefts and other crimes.

Moving into the summer months, police are looking to put a halt to the rising crime rate by stopping it before it happens.

“The public is our biggest asset. Members of the community are a huge help in solving any type of crime.”

Lieutenant Josh Stewart of the Poplar Bluff Police Department said crime throughout Butler County is on the rise.

“We’ve definitely seen probably an uptick in crime rates,” he said.

He believed the high crime rate could be attributed to the recent loss of jobs due to the pandemic and juveniles without much to do during the summer.

“With the unemployment benefits coming to an end, and that kind of thing, I think we’ll see people seeking out to get back into the job market. But, it is summer time as well, so I think we are going to see kind of a little bit of shift between out adult offenders and out juvenile offenders,” Lt. Stewart said.

He said it’s petty crimes that tend to pop up throughout the summer months.

“We’ll probably see an increase in some vehicle break-ins, things like that. Kids are typically pretty notorious for that kind of thing,” he said.

More recently, he said the current trend is stolen cars.

“Obviously, people leaving keys in their cars and things like that. Whether they’re going inside for a quick trip into the grocery store or the gas station, their homes. Just more of a crime of opportunity,” he said.

Which can be prevented by taking a few simples steps.

“Obviously, locking your vehicle. Not leaving the keys in it. And being aware of your surroundings,” he said.

Lieutenant Stewart encouraged you to protect your home and property with video surveillance and to always report suspicious activity.

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