Theft and assault cases in Bowie continued to trend upward in 2012 even as robberies, burglaries, and stolen vehicles were at record low levels for the city, according to report issued by the Bowie Police Department.
Assaults increased slightly, from 157 in 2011 to 160 in 2012, but this increase is part of an upward trend extending back as far as data was available in 2007, when the number of reported assaults was 63.
Mayor Pro Tem Diane Polangin expressed concern over this trend, and Bowie Police Chief John Nesky said the increase can be attributed to a number of factors.
“They are student-based, some are domestic based,” Nesky said. “There’s an increase propensity to report assault. That can drive some of the assaults up as well.”
Thefts in 2012 were also up, with 709 reported, an increase over the 589 thefts reported in 2011. The rise is due in part to thefts from autos, said Nesky.
“We continue to battle with thefts from autos. That’s our biggest offender with 271 for the year,” Nesky said.
Thefts from autos are crimes of opportunity, said Nesky. People see purses, briefcases and other items in plain site in vehicles and break in to steal the items. To battle the thefts from autos, Nesky said the police force will continue to do things at night, like making traffic stops, to help curb the crimes.
The increase in commercial burglaries was slight—up to 21 for 2012 over 2011—and down considerably from 2008 when there were 43 reported commercial burglaries within city limits.
Residential burglaries have continued to trend downward, with 155 reported in 2012—down from a reported high of 216 in 2008. In 2011, 166 residential burglaries were reported.
Stolen vehicles—or thefts of autos—have also dramatically decreased since 2008, when 120 were reported. In 2012, that number was down to 59.
Reported robberies are also trending downward with 38 reported in 2012, down from 43 robberies in 2011 and 66 robberies in 2008.
With these downward crime trends, area checks have also increased dramatically since 2008 up from 5,669 to 18,624 in 2012.
Bowie police also closed 54.5 percent of their cases in 2012, with 32 closed cases resulting in charges against more than 40 people.