Overall, crime stats stay flat

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published October 5, 2011


The number of thefts reported in the city of Troy dropped 15 percent from 2009 to 2010, based on the most recent crime statistics released by the FBI, while the numbers of vehicle thefts and burglaries increased by 28 percent and 26 percent, respectively.

However, the number of these crimes is comparatively low, and numbers in most categories have stayed relatively flat.

The city follows the national trend of declining violent and property crimes, although nationally car thefts dropped by 7 percent and burglaries dropped by 2 percent.

In Troy, the number of car thefts increased in 2010 to 109 from 85 in 2009, when the number of car thefts had dropped just under 50 percent from the previous year. The number of car thefts in 2010 is lower than reported car thefts in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

Also, while burglaries increased from 231 in 2009 to 292 in 2010, the number of burglaries last year was still fewer than in 2006 and 2008.

Reported rapes dropped by nearly half. There was one murder in Troy in 2010, and no reported murders in 2009.

Reported robberies and assaults in the city also dropped from 2009.

Addressing the number of rapes — nine — Troy Police Capt. Gerry Scherlinck said that while any circumstance in which it occurs is unacceptable, the majority of rapes in Troy are not the stranger type, where the victim does not know the assailant.

“Those are almost unheard of,” he said.

With regard to property crimes, Scherlinck said that police surveillance units have been successful catching serial criminals who steal cars and burglarize homes in recent months.

“You can have one or two individuals committing 10 to 15 home invasions or continuing to visit Troy for car theft, committing the majority of an increase,” he said.

He said incidents of violent crime in Troy are very low, and property crime numbers have stayed steady.

“That record of achievement, given our location close to a major city with a higher crime rate, to maintain a positive record is a huge accomplishment in this community,” Scherlinck said.

Troy Police Chief Gary Mayer credited the Special Investigations Unit, comprising three officers from Troy, an officer from Bloomfield Township and one from Auburn Hills, for successful investigations of serial criminals resulting in arrests.

With recent reductions in the Police Department, Mayer said they are working very hard to keep residents involved. Over the summer, Troy police launched Citizens on Patrol, made up of about 20 residents who have completed the Troy Citizens Police Academy and background checks, and volunteer their time to patrol streets, schools and parks.

Mayer said he believes most residents have not seen a difference in services provided.

“As we lose police, we want to make sure we keep crime statistics down and deliver quality services while the department changes to a little more generalist approach,” Mayer said.

“We’re keeping up the problem-solving mentality,” he added.

“The officers take responsibility for their patrol area and handle problems when they crop up,” Mayer said. “These are highly motivated police officers who want to do a good job.”

For a complete list of 2010 FBI crime statistics for Michigan cities, visit www.fbi.gov.