Some interesting reading came across our desks the other day. The MPD Criminal Intelligence Section (CIS) put out a monthly crime summary for February 2016. The information was generated by our crime analysts along with police officers assigned to CIS. Most of the information in the document is for internal use intended to assist officers and detectives on their criminal cases. Some of the general information however is worth sharing with you.
Three highlights of the monthly report are in the sections for burglaries, thefts from autos and heroin overdoses. There is some serious food for thought from those sections.
A burglary is defined as entering into a building of another without the owner's consent with the intent to commit another crime (usually theft). Citywide in February there were 48 reported burglaries. Of those 48, only 5 were reported in the North District. Central led the way with 25 burglaries, many of which were through unlocked doors into homes or garages. Many times the entry was to a garage with the intent to steal money and merchandise from cars.
Thefts from autos:
This has been an incredibly difficult year for these thefts. Through Feb 29 there were 249 thefts from auto (TFA) citywide. This is higher than any year in recent memory. These high numbers may be driven by youthful criminals but we suspect the still raging heroin epidemic is behind many of these crimes of opportunity. Here's another stunning number; less than 1% of these thefts involved forced entry into the vehicle.
Of the 81 TFA's reported in February, only 7 were reported in the North District. It is not known if under- reporting plays into our very low numbers.
In the 29 days of February, the city of Madison was home to 17 reported heroin overdoses. Those are only the ones that were reported to us. There are likely more that were treated by friends or families that never were reported to the 911 center.
Sadly, the North District led all other districts in heroin overdoses recording 6 for the month of February. It is an epidemic. Please dispose of unused medications at our East District med-drop box. Prescription medication abuse is the leading precursor to opiate addiction.
The MPD uses this and other information from our crime analysts to identify trends and to inform the data driven deployment of resources. You can also take a few things from this information. First, lock your cars and homes. Don't keep valuables in your car. If you are an unfortunate victim, please take the time to report even small losses so that we know where best to send our officers. And please, dump those meds.