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Violent crimes increase in Lebanon
Jan 05, 2013 4:00 pm
Violent crimes and credit card fraud increased in Lebanon during 2012.
According to Chief Scott Bowen, Lebanon typically averages one killing every 12-18 months, but the city went almost four years with none reported.
The streak ended in 2012, when Lebanon police responded to a fatal stabbing on Meadowlane Drive on June 13.
“That was the first homicide that we’d had reported since July 27, 2008,” said Bowen.
Police responded to a second killing – a fatal shooting on Fairview Drive – on Dec. 20.
“In both of these cases, [suspects] have been charged,” said Bowen.
Police apprehended each suspect within hours of the incidents.
Aggravated assaults also increased in 2012.
“Aggravated assaults – that includes serious stabbings, shootings and other things like that – were up 14 percent [from 2011],” said Bowen.
That number rose from 66 incidents in 2011 to 75 incidents in 2012.
Domestic assaults and domestic aggravated assaults also increased slightly – from 252 incidents in 2011 to 262 incidents in 2012.
Cases of credit card fraud jumped by about 28 percent, while the number of reported forgeries decreased by more than 45 percent.
To Bowen, this primarily reflects the increased popularity of debit cards.
“Our forgeries are usually checks,” said Bowen. “Hardly anybody uses checks anymore.”
Bowen did, however, report some positive changes for 2012. Notably, the number of robberies and burglaries of all types decreased from 2011.
Robberies were down by 37 percent, and burglaries of all types were down by more than 15 percent combined.
“To me – the burglaries being down – I contribute that to the hard work of those guys, the officers,” said Bowen.
Police solved many of the reported cases, preventing repeated offenses, and maintained a strong public presence, according to Bowen.
“Just being there is a deterrent,” said Bowen. “We are there for crime prevention.”