Crime rises nearly 5% in Carroll Breaking, entering rise, some assaults decline

March 29, 1998|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

State police statistics released last week show a nearly 5 percent rise in crime in Carroll County in 1997.

The Uniform Crime Report lists totals for violent crimes of murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault, as well as nonviolent crimes of breaking and entering, larceny theft, motor vehicle theft and arson.

Total incidents in Carroll rose 4.9 percent, from 3,437 in 1996 to 3,606 last year. Crimes statewide declined 7 percent for the same period, the report showed.

Breaking and entering in Carroll County rose 22.8 percent, from 654 in 1996 to 803 last year.

In other significant changes, aggravated assaults dropped 24.3 percent, from 268 in 1996 to 203 last year, while murders rose from one to three. The three murders stemmed from two domestic-violence incidents in Hampstead.

Totals in the other categories remained virtually unchanged.

Lt. Leonard Armstrong, commander of the Westminster barracks, said residents shouldn't fret over the rise in crime. Arrests are up, too, he said.

Armstrong did not have arrest totals available Friday. He said he was making arrangements for troopers to attend a memorial service in Baltimore for Trooper Raymond G. Armstead Jr., who was killed Wednesday in a traffic crash while attempting to stop to assist another motorist.

"I do know that detectives cracked a ring last month that appears responsible for most of the recent incidents in the Westminster area, because [breaking and entering] crimes have virtually stopped since those arrests were made," Armstrong said.

The rapid rise in breaking-and-entering cases is linked directly to the increase in drugs coming into the county, particularly heroin, he said.

Addicts look for cash or items they can sell quickly to purchase drugs.

Pub Date: 3/29/98

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