Chesterton Tribune



Sheriff Police report Alcohol and drug arrests down in 2017; burglaries down; fatal crashes up

Back To Front Page



Alcohol- and drug-related arrests were both down in unincorporated Porter County last year, as were OWI arrests.

Crimes against persons and crimes against property, on the other hand--with the exception of burglary--upticked somewhat but were nevertheless well below historical levels.

And though traffic enforcement--as measured by stops--was way up, so were fatal accidents.

Those are the headlines from the Porter County Sheriff’s Office’s 2017 annual report.

Begin with alcohol- and substance-related arrests. Officers made 55 alcohol-related arrests last year--excluding OWIs--compared to 125 in 2016, a 56-percent decrease and the fewest in five years (77 in 2015, 91 in 2014, 118 in 2013).

Drug-related arrests also dropped slightly in 2017, to 207 from 216 in 2016, a decrease of 4.17 percent (207 in 2015, 202 in 2014, 156 in 2013).

Arrests for operating while intoxicated, meanwhile, plummeted by 21.69 percent last year, to 195--the fewest in five years--from 249 in 2016 (242 in 2015, 320 in 2014, 349 in 2013).

Crimes Against Persons

The PCSP investigated a single homicide in 2017 (zero in 2016, two in 2015, zero in 2014, zero in 2013).

Nine rapes were reported to the PCSP last year, nearly double the number in 2016: five (five in 2014, five in 2014, four in 2013). “In terms of the rape numbers increase, we have always promoted reporting and the statistics show more victims coming forward,” Sheriff Dave Reynolds said. “Unfortunately, this crime is not one that police nor our police agency alone can prevent. Of these nine reported rapes, two were cleared by arrests and the remaining seven (involved) dating, social media, and the sort. These were not incidents of ‘unknown suspects’ or parking lot assaults.”

Both simple assaults and aggravated assaults were up in 2017 but again lower than historical levels. Simple assaults were up 4.17 percent to 150, compared to 144 in 2016 (174 in 2015, 172 in 2014, 179 in 2013). Aggravated assaults were up 15.38 percent to 15, compared to 13 in 2016 (26 in 2015, 28 in 2014, 32 in 2013).

Robberies were fractionally up last year: to four, from three in 2016 (four in 2015, seven in 2014, six in 2013). “All four of the reports have been closed out with arrests or convictions,” Reynolds noted. “The resolution of these cases and the arrests made can be attributed to the collaborative work of alert witnesses, our patrol officers who take the initial reports, and our detectives and crime scene team who perform on a daily basis.”

Crimes Against Property

Burglaries, meanwhile, were down a whopping 20.83 percent in 2017 to 95, compared to 120 in 2016. That number is the second fewest in five years (90 in 2015, 113 in 2014, 186 in 2013). “We feel this can be attributed to homeowners taking more efforts in locking up their residences and to neighbors watching out for suspicious activity and then calling to report when they see something, which we strongly support,” Reynolds said.

Thefts were up by 4.41 percent last year to 355, compared to 340 in 2016 (316 in 2015, 368 in 2014, 583 in 2014).

But vehicle thefts spiked in 2017 by 33.33 percent to 40, compared to 30 in 2016. That number is the highest in five years (37 in 2015, 31 in 2014, 34 in 2013). “These thefts can be avoided and heavily reduced,” Reynolds said. “All vehicle thefts are attributed to residents leaving their vehicles unlocked with the keys inside. We even have had incidents of vehicles stolen locally with the doors unlocked and keys inside, to later be recovered in Illinois.”

Traffic Accidents and Incidents

Traffic stops increased significantly in 2017, by 20.71 percent: 15,083, compared to 12,495 in 2016, the second highest number in five years (10,101 in 2015, 12,738 in 2014, 17,558 in 2013).

Officers issued 7.41 percent fewer citations: 3,461, compared to 3,738 in 2016 (2,868 in 2015, 3,863 in 2014, 4,056 in 2013).

But they issue fully 13.8 percent more warnings: 12,476, compared to 10,963 in 2016 (9,617 in 2015, 13,092 in 2014, 15,190 in 2013).

Accidents of all kind decreased by 2.88 percent in 2017: to 1,754, compared to 1,806 in 2016 (1,707 in 2015, 1,848 in 2014, 1,701 in 2013).

There was a spike in fatal accidents, however: 15, compared to seven in 2016, an increase of 114 percent and the most in five years (nine in 2015, nine in 2014, six in 2013).

There were 284 personal injury crashes last year, compared to 314 in 2016, a drop of 9.55 percent (318 in 2015, 357 in 2014, 362 in 2013).

There were 1,304 property-damage crashes in 2017, compared to 1,340, a decrease of 2.69 percent (1,256 in 2015, 1,336 in 2014, 1,205 in 2013).

There also 83 hit-and-run accidents last year, compared to 91 in 2016, a drop of 8.79 percent (78 in 2015, 81 in 2014, 75 in 2013).


Arrests of all kinds fell in 2017 by 3.4 percent: to 1,931, from 1,999 in 2016 (1,789 in 2015, 1,611 in 2014, 1,617 in 2013).

Of those, 208 were made for so-called Uniform Crime Report (UCR) Part I offenses: homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. That number is down by 2.8 percent, compared to 214 such arrests in 2016 (219 in 2015, 214 in 2014, 194 in 2013).

UCR Part II arrests were up last year by 5.94 percent, on the other hand: to 1,266, from 1,195 in 2016. Those 1,266 arrests are the most in five years (1,044 in 2015, 784 in 2014, and 800 in 2014).

“We cover the unincorporated areas of Porter County and we are growing and continue to grow with more people, new construction, and more residential properties going up,” Reynolds concluded. “Porter County is still one of the fastest growing counties in the state and we have the largest unincorporated area our officers are responsible for. I am proud of the work our entire office does on a daily basis. I feel it’s important the people of our community understand, based on where we are located in the state, that we are a safe county. This is a safe place to live, work, and raise a family.”



Posted 2/20/2018




Search This Site:

Custom Search