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Texas-side crime rate in spotlight

Texas-side crime rate in spotlight

Serious offenses down; assaults, drugs and DUIs show increase over 2017

March 25th, 2019 by Lori Dunn in Texarkana News

The rate of one category of crime recently increased in Texarkana, Texas, while another decreased.

Texarkana, Texas, Police Department crime statistics for Part One offenses, which include most violent crimes, are down 12 percent in 2018 compared to 2017. Part Two crimes, which include weapons violations and DUI, increased 10 percent in 2018 compared to 2017.

Part One crimes include murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and theft.

These crimes are considered harder to prevent, said Shawn Vaughn, spokesman for TTPD.

Part Two crimes include forgery, fraud, drug laws, public intoxication and driving under the influence.

These crimes often have more enforcement, resulting in more arrests and higher numbers, Vaughn said.

"It's a win-win because you have lower Part One crimes, and the Part Two numbers that are higher tend to be driven up by enforcement," Vaughn said.

When crimes are analyzed by TTPD's crime analyst, they are divided into the two categories.

The numbers are submitted to the FBI for its annual report, and the categories are required, Vaughn said.

Crimes categorized as Part One offenses include several violent crimes: Murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault. The group also includes burglaries, thefts and auto thefts.

Police are pleased about the numbers but cautious because so many of the crimes fluctuate from year to year.

"Historically, these are things that remain about the same with slight fluctuations. You want to be careful about owning reductions because then you have to own it when they increase," Vaughn said. "We would like no crime but that's not going to happen."

Thefts, the most common crimes in Texarkana, Texas, were down three percent in 2018 compared to 2017.

Shoplifting is a big problem at Texarkana stores, and those crimes contribute to the thefts, Vaughn said.

There were 1,419 thefts in 2018 compared to 1,457 in 2017.

Assaults are another common crime in Texarkana and they are hard to prevent, Vaughn said.

"These are mainly people fighting with each other."

Assaults are divided into simple and aggravated.

Simple assaults were up seven percent from 2017. There were 852 in 2018 and 795 in 2017.

However, aggravated assaults were down 75 percent. There were 80 in 2018 compared to 323 in 2017.

Burglaries increased slightly in 2018, as did auto thefts.

There were 342 burglaries in 2018 compared to 308 in 2017. There were 129 auto thefts in 2018 compared to 122 in 2017.

Murder cases increased 33 percent. There were four in 2018 compared to three in 2017.

Part Two crimes include forgery, fraud, weapons offenses, drug law violations and DWI.

DWI offenses were up 22 percent. There were 219 in 2018 compared to 180 in 2017.

Crimes such as DWI offenses are another area where enforcement drives the numbers up because there are more arrests.

Drug law violations were up 37 percent. There were 647 in 2018 compared to 470 in 2017.

Forgeries were up 15 percent and frauds were down 34 percent. Weapons offenses were up 26 percent.

"Our clearance rate is typically higher than the national average, so even though we can't prevent a lot of those offenses, the fact that we were able to identify and solve cases after the fact is a better report card on the Police Department." Vaughn said.

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