According to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation 2014 Crime Index report, Barton County Sheriff’s Office reported at 77 cases of burglary and 87 cases of theft. The Ellinwood Police Department reported seven cases of burglary and 22 cases of theft. The Great Bend Police Department reported 129 cases of burglary and 638 cases of theft. Hoisington Police Department reported 34 cases of burglary and 53 cases of theft. The Claflin Police Department reported six cases of burglary and three cases of theft.
The total number of burglaries in 2014 was 253 and there was 793 cases of theft. There were 59 cases of vehicle theft throughout the county.
The holidays along with mild weather brings cheer and joy to many people in Great Bend and the surrounding communities. But these two ingredients combined make a bad recipe for crime.
A review of recent criminal media logs reveals the three types of crimes that stands out more than others are burglary, theft and fraud.
People commit these crimes for many different reasons, but during this time of the year it seems to get worse, law enforcement officials said, comparing this year to years past.
“We have seen an uptick of crime during this time of year compared with past years. This could be due to mild weather,” Barton County Sheriff Brian Bellendir said. “It has been more active this year and more theft from vehicles because of the holidays.”
The reason why the holidays is bad for theft is due to people leaving gifts in their cars and items being shipped to their houses and being left on the porch or other places where it can be seen.
The weather plays in as another factor. With mild winter temperatures people venture outside which can lead to more theft and burglaries.
According to the Barton County Sheriff’s Office and the Great Bend Police Department reports, there were 27 burglaries, 62 cases of theft and 23 cases of fraud in the month of December.
The burglaries and theft cases range from stealing items from houses, sheds, barns to vehicles and businesses.
Some of the items stolen were guns, fuel, house hold items, keys to vehicles, Christmas decorations, cloths from local business and a few vehicles.
There is no way to stop every crime but people can take certain precautions to help stop these crimes, officers said.
“Lock your doors, watch your neighbors home and report any suspicious people or activities around your neighborhood to police,” said Lt. William Browne of the Great Bend Police Department. “We will send out a patrol officer to check it out.”
The GBPD and the BCSO do there best to stop the crime in in Barton County, but the officers can not be everywhere a crime is committed.
This is where the community can do their part and help out the police by calling in anything suspicious, Browne said.
“We really rely on the community,” Browne said. “It is very helpful catching criminals and solving crimes.”
Fraud cases are a little different.
According to Browne, most of these fraud incidents are just reported to the police and no cases are made due to how hard it is to track the scams. When these cases are reported, the police will offer to fill out an intelligence report that is shared with other agencies. These intelligence reports are a means to keep track of frauds that are brought to law enforcement’s attention.
If someone actually losses money to a fraud then the police will open a case and investigate it.
There have been many different cases of fraud reported in the area. Most of these cases are phone scams and people receiving fake checks in the mail.
All types of scams should be reported to law enforcement agencies. This way they can be kept track of and the public can be made aware of them.