In the first six months since the Macon Police Department merged with the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office, the overall crime rate increased 11 percent.
But Sheriff David Davis said the numbers don’t tell the whole story because there are significant dips in violent crimes that are offset by a dramatic rise in thefts.
When comparing Macon and Bibb crime for the first half of 2013 to the first six months of 2014, homicides decreased 25 percent, and arrests have been made in all nine of this year’s killings, Davis said.
Aggravated assaults, which include shootings, were down 1 percent.
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Although the total number of robberies increased 18 percent, business robberies decreased by a third and residential robberies held steady at 13 incidents. But street robberies rose 54 percent.
“What we find on a number of those (street robberies) is they’re basically drug deals gone bad,” Davis said. “The victim, they’ll call in and say they’re robbed, but they’re sketchy on the description, and it’s very hard for us to follow up.”
Percentages also can skew perceptions, he said.
There was just one carjacking reported the first six months of 2013, but there were three during the first half of 2014. That amounts to a 200 percent increase.
The number of arson cases increased 21 percent, burglaries were up 14 percent, rape increased by 10 percent, auto thefts edged up 6 percent, and larceny increased by 11 percent, including a 24 percent increase in shoplifting and a 6 percent increase in entering auto cases.
Although the sheriff’s office and police department previously operated under different policies and procedures, Davis has been impressed by the cooperation between former police officers and what he calls his “legacy” deputies.
“They blend so well that when we have a major crime, they’re ready to get to work,” Davis said. “You let a call go down, and they’re on the road to solve it.”
Information from The Telegraph archives was used in this report. To contact writer Liz Fabian, call 744-4303.