Theft-related crime prevalent in the Columbus area

Theft-related crime prevalent in the Columbus area

By Trevyn Gray


The Columbus Police Department’s website states that theft makes up over 78 percent of the crime in the area. 


“There could be a number of reasons,” said John Wade, Director of Public Relations for the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Department (MCSD). “[It could be] economical circumstances. It could be issues with people trying to support their family and not having a decent job. It could be along the lines of trying to get up money for an addiction. [They could also be looking for] easy targets of opportunity.”  


According to the statistics from January 2023 and January 2024, there has been a decrease in the total number of general crimes across the board. There were 500 crime incidents reported at this time last year, while there are 342 total in January 2024 so far. 


However, theft-related crimes, such as larceny and theft by taking from a motor vehicle, still make up the majority of the crime. Out of those 342 reported incidents, 267 are related to theft — an average of more than 11 per day. 


Wade said the decrease could be for several reasons, one being the police department’s public announcements about residents not leaving guns and valuable items inside their vehicles. That decreases the opportunity for theft, especially after the holidays. 


Going forward, Wade also said the MCSD is hoping to continue the downward trend and further decrease theft-related crime.


“We’re always looking at different things that come into play that lead to these incidents taking place,” Wade said. “We’re always looking at our strategy to address them. If we find that something’s not working, we tweak it. If it is, we’ll keep doing it. 


“We always check the general trends in the community and look to see if we can improve them.” 


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