Criminal activity up in 2009
Large jumps seen in theft and larceny
The number of crimes reported in Hartselle in 2009 was significantly higher than the number reported in the prior year, due in large part to a hefty jump in larceny or theft.
Figures released by the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center in June showed Hartselle Police Department reported 560 crimes in seven different categories, an increase of 98 over the 463 crimes reported in the prior year.
Of that number, larcenies totaled 429, or a year-to-year increase of 88. Other increases were reported in assaults, up from 7 to 10 and vehicle thefts, up from 17 to 26.
“The good news is violent crimes in the city were almost zero,” Police Chief Ron Puckett said. “Property crimes are not good but they have a tendency to increase when the population increases. As long as we can keep violent crimes down we feel like we’ve been successful in keeping our community safe.”
No murders were reported, the same as last year, and the number of rapes, robberies and burglaries declined.
Criminal activity was also down in rural Morgan County, according to figures reported by the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office. Crimes totaled 345 in 2009, down 72 from the 416 that were reported in the prior year. The only category showing an increase was vehicle thefts, which increased from two to three.
Crimes reported by Falkville, Priceville and Somerville were either the same or down. Falkville’s total in 2009 was 38, the same as in 2008; Priceville reported 49 crimes, or 31 fewer than the 80 reported in the prior year; and Somerville listed 19 crimes, as compared to 43 in 2008.