Decatur burglaries increased 38 percent in 2013

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt January 14, 2014
Official 2012 Uniform Crime Reports data and unofficial 2013 data from Decatur Police Sgt. Jennifer Ross.

Official 2012 Uniform Crime Reports data and unofficial 2013 data from Decatur Police Sgt. Jennifer Ross.

Decatur Police are still closing out figures from 2013, but preliminary data show there was a surge in burglaries last year.

Sgt. Jennifer Ross, who serves as police spokeswoman, had the unofficial 2013 figures with her at the Oakhurst Neighborhood Association meeting on Jan. 13. They are unofficial because there might be some cases that are identified as false reports, Ross said.

With that caveat aside, the Uniform Crime Reports numbers show that in 2013, Decatur had 127 burglaries, compared with 92 in 2012, a 38 percent increase.

Part 1 crimes overall increased by 5 percent year to year. In 2013, Decatur had its first homicide since 2010, the murder of Shirley Kendrick in October. Her grandson was arrested and charged with the crime. In 2013, there were a total of 819 Part 1 crimes, compared with 780 in 2012. For those unfamiliar with the Part 1 crimes terminology, it simply means crimes that are most likely to be reported to police. Most police departments track UCR data.

Assaults decreased by about 4 percent year to  year. There were 98 assaults in 2013, compared with 102 in 2012.

Robberies saw a 12 percent uptick, but were still a relatively small portion of Decatur’s crime rate. There were 28 robberies in in 2013, compared with 25 in 2012.

Other notes from the meeting:

– Sgt. Ross said there weren’t any updates she could provide about the recent Family Dollar robbery in Oakhurst. “We’re still working that,” she said.

– The ONA is looking for new officers. President Michael Vajda and his fellow board members accepted nominations, but not for any specific role on the board. One person in the audience nominated Gary Garrett, husband of City Commissioner Patti Garret.

Vajda said he’s enjoyed serving on the ONA and it’s a big responsibility for anyone who is willing to volunteer. The president is responsible for coordinating fundraisers and other neighborhood functions.

“From a karma standpoint, it fills your tank and overflows it,” he said.

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of

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