Sarasota County crime down in first half of 2012

Major crime is down 24% for Sarasota County for the first half of 2012, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office reported this week.

The office is crediting new county ordinances, efforts to target prolific offenders and crime prevention partnerships with citizens for the reduction.

The decrease in major crimes, known as Part I Offenses in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Index, is attributable to declines in the following categories from January to June, according to the Sheriff’s Office:

  • Burglary is down 25%.
  • Grand theft is down 22%.
  • Aggravated assault/battery is down 21%.
  • Robbery is down 14%.
  • Auto theft is down 8%.

A new county ordinance designed to reduce metal theft, combined with special operations targeting offenders who deal in stolen property, has led to an overall reduction in metal theft and associated crimes, the report says.

With the ordinance having made metals such as copper, aluminum and gold more difficult to sell, “offenders are less motivated, resulting in a drop in grand theft, residential burglary and non-residential burglary,” a Sheriff’s Office news release says.

“We will continue to concentrate our efforts on the crimes that affect residents and business owners the most to help maintain Sarasota County’s quality of life,” said Sheriff Tom Knight in the news release.

“We are grateful that the County Commission and business owners recognized the need for better ordinances, and now all citizens are realizing the results,” he added in the news release.