'06 crime numbers stay steady

April 13, 2007|By Melissa Harris | Melissa Harris,sun reporter

Howard County police arrested 466 more adults last year when compared with 2005, while crime rates remained relatively steady, according to the Police Department's annual crime report released this week.

"We've conducted a number of targeted operations in specific areas over the last year, which often resulted in a large number of arrests in a short period of time," said Sherry Llewellyn, a police spokeswoman.

The FBI determines what categories of crimes police include in the report. It covers only crimes known or reported to police.

Homicides and rapes remained the same from 2005 to 2006, at four and 42, respectively.

Burglaries rose from 1,225 to 1,323; motor vehicle thefts from 536 to 632; and robberies from 262 to 277. However, thefts declined slightly, from 5,385 to 5,170.

In response to the spike in motor-vehicle thefts, the department last month issued a news release warning owners of Honda Civics and Acura Integras manufactured before 2001 that their cars were at a high risk of being stolen.

The reported robbery data obscured the impact of a serial offender, Craig J. Mills, known as "The Speed Racer," who is suspected of targeting nine banks in Howard County last year. The county set a record for attempted and successful bank robberies last year with 25, compared with one in 2005.

After an investigation by Howard County police, federal agents arrested Mills in February.

"This significant arrest has already had an impact so far this year," Llewellyn said.

Arrests of adults increased 10 percent last year when compared with 2005, from 4,890 to 5,356, and calls for police service also increased for the first time in four years from 118,307 to 124,287.melissa.harris@baltsun.com

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