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Burglaries trending upward

City police release annual crime statistics

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Bellefontaine Police Officer Roger Hager returns to his cruiser Friday after delivering a message to a Newell Street resident who could not be reached by telephone. The call for service was necessary to inform the resident where he could pick up his missing handicap parking placard. (EXAMINER PHOTO | JOEL E. MAST)

Criminal activity in Bellefontaine has been steady over the past three years, according to data provided by the police department.

Chief Brandon Standley is not surprised.

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“There’s no big shock when I look at the numbers,” he said. “The only thing that jumped out at me was the rise in burglaries, and I would say the increase is a direct result of drug users in our community.”

Burglaries have gone from 141 in 2010 to 178 in 2012. More and more, officers are looking into burglaries into occupied structures or daytime break-ins.

“They’re becoming more brazen, entering while people were home,” Chief Standley said. “It is a result of a rise in the desperate thinking of those who abuse drugs.”

Often, one or two suspects will work together and commit multiple crimes, he said, and no area of the city is immune.

Chief Standley said residents can help by securing their homes and residences and keeping an eye out for suspicious activity regardless of the time of day.

In late 2011, the police, the Logan County Sheriff’s Office and the Logan County Prosecutor’s Office restarted the Logan County Joint Drug Task Force to focus on drug enforcement and interdiction.

Black tar heroin, which comes from Mexico, has become prevalent in the area and the preferred drug among addicts.

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