Archived Story

County sheriff’s office sees rise in burglaries, assaults

Published 4:20pm Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office reported a rise in burglaries, assaults and criminal sexual conduct cases for the 2011 annual report.

During the regular meeting of the Cass County Board of Commissioners, Undersheriff Rick Behnke presented the sheriff’s office’s annual report, citing a rise in specific cases. Among those elevated numbers, Behnke also reported that other cases and incidents had declined in the past year.

Burglary cases reported in 2011 reached 259, listing four more incidents than 2010’s 255 reported cases.

“We can associate the rise in burglaries to the economy,” Behnke said during the presentation Thursday evening.

Criminal sexual conduct cases also saw a minimal rise with 44 in 2011, as opposed to 2010’s 38 cases.

The largest rise in the sheriff’s annual report was attributed to assault cases, which totaled 20 more in 2011 than in 2010. The report listed that 2009 ended with 255 assault incidents, dropping to 233 in 2010, and then rising again in 2011 to 253. Behnke said the shift in numbers was normal fluctuation from year to year.

Many aspects of the report cited a drop in the annual numbers. According to Behnke, calls requesting sheriff’s office service dropped a few thousand in 2011, totaling only 19,509 as opposed to 22,318 in 2010.

There was also a decline in traffic crashes, with 2011 seeing one less fatal crash than 2010. Deer-related car accidents also dropped from 492 in 2010 to 391 in 2011. Behnke said the drop could be attributed to a disease that affected and killed several deer during the past year.

Other declines included arrests made by patrol deputies of those in contempt of court. Last year’s reported number only reached 188 after 2010 cited 202 instances.

The report also detailed a drop in drug-related crimes in the past year. Behnke described a spike from 2009 to 2010, jumping from 161 cases to 235. Last year’s number dropped by 25, with only 210 cases.

The report also presented technology improvements the sheriff’s office has incorporated to their systems, including inmate monetary transfers and the use of www.nixle.com for up-to-date incidents and events that take place in the county.

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