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While recent reports by the FBI say the overall number of violent and property crimes are dropping...it would appear they're on the rise in Muskingum County.
The FBI released a report saying violent and property crimes reported to police decreased between the first half of 2010 and 2011. According to Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz both arrests and investigations in the county are on the rise. He said as of November 30th, 27 more misdemeanor arrests have been made this year compared to last year, and as of December 30 more felony arrests.
"It's a tough time of the year right now during Christmas, it's a tough time during this economy in the state of Ohio," said Lutz. "We've seen some national reports where the unemployment rate has dropped a little bit and hopefully some of that picks up and helps people financially and they don't have to resort to crime."
Lutz said while arrests and investigations are up, the number of burglary reports are down. This corresponds with the FBI findings, saying burglaries dropped 3.7%."
"Our percentages for solving burglaries is going up, so we're going in the right direction," said Lutz. '"And if the number of reported burglaries is down hopefully that's a sign that not just people aren't reporting them, hopefully that's a sign of people keeping lights on around their house, keeping their doors locked, keeping their cars locked and trying to deter some of these people from doing some of these things."
The FBI report is based on information from more than 12,500 law enforcement agencies. Lutz did note it is expected for numbers to vary across the state.