With holiday activities and shopping in full swing, there are growing opportunities for an increase in criminal activities related to theft, kidnapping and fraud, among other crimes. In an effort to combat this, officials with the Kentucky State Police Post 13 are encouraging people to be aware of criminal activities and look out for one another.
According to the Kentucky State Police Crime in Kentucky reports, in 2017 Perry County had nine arrests for robberies, 32 arrests for burglary/breaking and entering and 266 arrests for larceny/theft.
“In general during this time of the year, you’ll see an increase in thefts related to package deliveries,” said KSP Post 13’s Public Affairs Officer Master Trooper Jody Sims.
Holiday crowds, Sims said, make it easier for shoplifting and theft to occur.
“A lot of time with increased shopping traffic there can be issues with content theft and personal belongings,” Sims said.
The report also stated that in Perry County, counterfeiting/forgery increased by 21 percent from 2016 to 2017, going from 68 arrests in 2016 to 82 arrests in 2017. Additionally, fraud offenses increased by 85 percent from 2016 to 2017, the report stated, with 48 arrests being made in Perry County in 2017.
Technology, Sims said, is likely leading to increases in identity theft cases and similar fraudulent activities.
“I would say a lot of that has to do with people being able to access personal information on the Internet,” said Sims. “More people are doing more shopping, more banking, more personal business on computers and cell phones. Of course, this is the time of the year people are buying Christmas gifts online and in store so that also increases opportunities for those people to find ways to obtain that information.”
Also in the KSP report, it was shown that motor vehicle theft increased from four arrests in 2016 to 14 arrests in 2017 in Perry County. Sims said that often, thefts like auto theft are avoidable.
“A lot of times it is just being vigilant in securing your property, whether it is a home or vehicle,” he said. “Just taking that second to turn a lock or key could be a big difference in keeping those numbers down.”
Many times, KSP and local law enforcement agencies across the state target high risk areas within communities and form a collective effort to increase patrols in the areas and build community relationships, said Sims. The hope for this, he said, is that people will feel more secure, as well as reach out to law enforcement about suspicious activities, overall decreasing the chances of the activities occurring.
Many of those activities and arrest statistics, Sims continued, can be lowered by increased self awareness, being aware of your surroundings and by taking the time to secure your belongings. “Try to be more self aware, personally and for your neighbors,” Sims said.
“We just want to advise to look out for each other,” he continued. “We’re all family in the big scheme of things and should watch out for each other.”