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Wakulla County Index Crimes Down 17.7 percent

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) has released 2013 index crime statistics for Wakulla County and the county has experienced a 17.7 percent drop in index crimes from 2012 to 2013. Index crimes include: murder, forcible sex offenses, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft.

FDLE is still compiling the state statistics and will also create a comparison of county statistics which will be released later in the year.

• Wakulla County did not have any murders in 2012 or in 2013.

• The number of forcible sex offenses declined from 31 in 2012 to 17 in 2013 or a 45.2 percent decrease. All of the sex offenses were down as forcible rapes dropped from 14 to 10 and forcible fondling dropped from 17 to seven. There were no cases of forcible sodomy in 2012 or 2013.

• Robberies remained the same as there were four reported in 2012 and four reported in 2013.

• Aggravated assaults remained the same as 56 were reported in 2012 and the same number was reported in 2013.

• Burglaries dropped sharply as 149 were reported in 2012 and 102 were reported in 2013 or a 31.5 percent drop.

• Larceny cases dropped from 513 in 2012 to 435 in 2013 or a 15.2 percent drop. The largest number of larceny cases was reported from motor vehicles. In 2013, 104 larceny cases stemmed from motor vehicle thefts. The second largest number came from buildings at 72 cases. Larceny cases went down in every type of incident except motor vehicle theft cases. Building larcenies went down 33.3 percent.

• The only area where Wakulla County saw an index crime increase was in motor vehicle thefts. There were 21 motor vehicle thefts in 2012 and 23 in 2013 or a 9.5 percent increase.
There were 774 index crimes reported in 2012 and 637 in 2013. Of the 637 crimes reported 77 were violent and 560 were nonviolent.
A review of domestic violence offenses showed a 15 percent decrease from 2012 to 2013 as 80 cases were reported in 2012 and 68 were reported in 2013. FDLE lists $238,674 worth of stolen property being recovered by the WCSO out of a total of $734,778 worth of property stolen.

Three out of the last five years Wakulla County has seen a reduction in the total number of index crimes, but 2013 was the lowest number of crimes reported with 637. In the previous four years at least 774 index crimes were reported.

In domestic violence cases, the 68 cases included 20 that were cohabitants to the offender, 12 were children of the offender, 11 were spouses of offenders, nine were parents, eight were other family members, five were siblings, and three were listed as other.

In vehicle recovery cases nine were stolen locally and recovered locally while eight were stolen locally and recovered by another jurisdiction. 

In 2013, the WCSO arrested 49 juveniles with 15 arrested for index crimes and 34 arrests for other offenses. Of the 49 juveniles, 31 were males and 18 were females. The WCSO also arrested 709 adults in 2013 with 152 index crime arrests and 557 for other offenses. Of the adult total, 524 were male and 185 were female.

Sheriff Charlie Creel said the reasons behind the improvements include a better line of communication between the various divisions within the agency. He also credited the success to keeping a closer eye on county “hot spots” when they are identified for a particular incident and increasing patrols in that area. Saturation patrols have been used to fight motorists who are impaired and underage drinking incidents.
He also added that the WCSO has closely examined the agency resources and analyzed the best methods to deploy the resources. The sheriff’s office held public meetings in 2013 to raise awareness among residents related to criminal activity in specific areas of the county as well as forming a partnership with the school district to address anti-bullying measures.

While not considered by the FDLE as an index crime, Sheriff Creel said Wakulla County recorded 236 driving while license is suspended or revoked (DWLSR) arrests in 2013. Many of the individuals who have been stopped for DWLSR do not possess vehicle insurance which puts the burden on the insured public when an uninsured motorist gets into a traffic crash.

The WCSO will release a comparison of local index crime statistics with state and other area jurisdictions when the statistics become available later in 2014.

 

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