RCSO seeing drop in crime (July 21, 2014)
Reported crimes in Conyers have dropped dramatically for 2014 so far.
Compared to the same time period last year, reported crime in every major category is down and has seen a nearly 16 percent decrease overall, according to the Conyers Police Department.
The time frame for both years compared crimes reported between the months of January to August.
Conyers Police Chief Gene Wilson believes that the decrease in crime could be related to the new tactics the police department are taking to ward off people who don't live in the Conyers area.
Cutting into the prostitution operations may have had a ripple effect by cutting into the number of robberies and aggressive assaults, which have dropped 38 percent and 7 percent, says Wilson.
Burglaries dropped from 100 a year ago to 63 and that could be related to Conyers Police apprehending a number of suspects who've committed multiple burglaries.
"I hope whatever we're doing we continue," said Wilson. "I want to try to get (the crime rate) down even further than that by the end of the year."
Reported thefts, which include shoplifting, are by far the highest form of crime in the city with 467 incidents so far this year. That huge number is even down from the 524 reported thefts of a year ago.
Wilson says some offenders just commit ridiculous thefts, like walking out of a retailer with stolen merchandise while there are four patrol vehicles outside the store.
"All we can do is educate people on the consequences of stealing and continue to patrol (the city)," he said.
The lone murder in 2014 occurred April 20, when an 80-year-old couple, Jack and Sharon Lamb, were found dead in an apparent murder-suicide incident on Easter Sunday. In 2013, there were at least four deaths classified as homicides in Conyers at this point of the year.
Those deaths occurred January 8, 2013, when four siblings of the Glass family were killed in a fatal house fire that was started accidentally by another 6-year-old sibling. The four children killed were 8-months-old, 3-years-old, 7-years-old and 9-years-old.
Rounding out the top five of crimes in the city is motor vehicle thefts. These crimes have dropped 21 percent and Wilson believes it's because of stiffer recycling laws that require more documentation to recycle a vehicle and receive payment for it.
Overall, there have been 621 crimes reported in 2014. In 2013, there were 738 reported crimes.
The police statistics were announced by City Manager Tony Lucas during the City Council's annual Summer Retreat at Lake Lanier Friday afternoon. Lucas gave much of the credit to the police department and their efforts to keep Conyers safe.
"The police department has been working very hard to get to these numbers," he said to the council. "It's amazing how much activity they have in a day's time."