Crime is one thing that we fortunately do not have to deal with too much here in Laramie, but there are certainly moments when we are all reminded that it does exist. There have been several instances of crime over the past few months that we have covered, but we wanted to take a look at Laramie crime in 2011 as a whole. Commander Mitch Cushman of the Laramie Police Department helped grab some quick facts and figures for us to share. Overall Commander Cushman said that Laramie has relatively low crime rates, especially when compared to other communities of similar size.

One of the big issues in Laramie seems to always be drinking and driving, which did decrease this past year. While it is hard to know exactly what main factor to attribute this decrease, there are many organizations that play a role in prevention including programs like Safe Ride and business owners encouraging intoxicated patrons. Another possible explanation can be issues with enforcement, resulting in unrecorded crime. With recent laws being passed which require drivers to take a breathalyzer test, we would have actually expected an increase due to easier enforcement.

On the national scale this past year an increase in assaults on police officers was seen, but fortunately there was only a slight increase here in Laramie. Mitch Cushman explained that he believes nationally this can be linked to people being upset with government in general and taking their anger out on one of the most visible signs of government; the officers who enforce government laws. The "Occupy Protests" contributed to these figures nationally. Laramie saw an increase of only 7 assaults which was well below the national average.  

One monetary trend that is tracked by the police department is pawn slip transactions. They were on the rise this past year, which can most likely be attributed to economic factors as people sold personal items for extra money. This was a trend seen on the national scale as well. Crime can also be a factor in this increase as people looking for extra money sell stolen items, which is the reasoning behind the tracking of these figures. One of the way criminals easily collect items to pawn off is through crimes of opportunity, when people leave doors unlocked with valuables in plain sight.

The police department recently caught a thief who had been steeling from unlocked cars around Laramie for over two months, sometimes hitting up to 30 cars a night. Because of this, statistics show a rise in automobile burglaries in 2011 for the city. Unfortunately this type of crime is prevalent, and many times it is very difficult to catch criminals who engage in this sort of activity quickly. Fortunately this type of crime is very easy to prevent; make sure that you lock your doors to prevent one of the most common types of crime in our city. Commander Cushman also mentioned that parking your car in a well lighted area and hiding valuables in your trunk is a great way to avoid any problems.

One of the bigger crimes that has taken place recently in Laramie was the armed robbery of First National Bank on Grand. The crime occurred back on December 29th, 2011 and the suspect in the robbery is still on the loose. If you haven't looked at the suspect pictures from the bank cameras take a look and help bring this individual to justice.

That pretty much wraps up major crime trends in 2011 for the City of Laramie. What do you think of the Laramie Police force and their efforts to keep our town safe?

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