Crime scene

Overall crime numbers in Lewisville have gone up for the third straight year, but violent crime reports went down from 2018.

According to the 2019 crime report recently released by the Lewisville Police Department, overall crime numbers jumped from 8,481 cases in 2018 to 8,936 in 2019, an increase of 5 percent.

The overall increase was fueled by a jump in Part II crimes, which are non-violent crimes. Those incidents went from 5,543 to 6,237, a 12.5-percent increase.

Both the overall crimes and the Part II crimes are the most since at least before 2010.

Police Chief Kevin Deaver said of those crimes he is most concerned about the nearly 20 percent increase in narcotics violations.

“Is there a usage increase in the community, or are we just catching more?” Deaver said. “Unlike other crimes, this is one that most often does not get reported unless we find someone in possession. I think it is a combination of both. I am concerned by the direction the country and the state are moving concerning marijuana.  A large part of my career was devoted to working in narcotics. I have seen what it does to individuals and families.” 

Deaver also noted the 82-percent increase in runaways.

“This is very concerning to me because they are a vulnerable segment of our society, and there are people out there, targeting them for human trafficking,” Deaver said. “Our officers and detectives try to educate the kids, but often they have that invincible attitude or have the belief it won't happen to them.”

Part I crimes, which include violent crimes and burglaries, dropped from 2,938 cases in 2018 to 2,699 in 2019, a decrease of 8.1 percent.

“Often these trends are more regional,” Deaver said. “When we notice a spike in a crime, we evaluate what we are seeing and try to determine an effective response.  It may be increased patrols in certain areas, or the education of the public to help them protect themselves. There are always increases and decreases in crime; we try to identify trends and react as quickly as possible.  We have great officers who are working day in and day out to protect our community.”

While the Part I crimes are down, Deaver said there are more guns on the streets. He said police recovered 112 guns in 2019, which is up from 85 in 2018.

“We made a concerted effort in 2019 to get guns out of the hands of criminals,” Deaver said. “The department partnered with the Department of Public Safety and the Denton County Sheriff's Office in several surge operations, which resulted in numerous arrests for gun and narcotic violations.  I expect these types of operations to continue moving forward.” 

According to the report there was a 35.6-percent increase in weapons offenses from 2018 to 2019 (90 reports to 122). That was the largest percentage increase of any category.

Crimes that went down included credit card fraud, where there were 210 cases compared to 318 in 2018, a 34-percent drop.

Burglary of a habitation, burglary of a building and burglary of a motor vehicle cases went down by 32.2 percent, 22.1 percent and 21.8 percent, respectively.

Looking ahead, the police department will implement a camera program to continue its efforts to reduce crime. This summer it will launch the Integrated Camera Utilization (ICU) Program, which features a network of license plate reading cameras in various areas of the city. Officers will be able to use that program to search for specific vehicles and license plates.

LPD purchased 12 of the cameras earlier this year and plans to add more later. Police said vehicles are used in more than 70 percent of crimes.

“We are always looking for more innovative ways to reduce crime,” Deaver said. “I am excited about our partnership with Flock Safety and the implementation of the ICU Program. The program will give us a tool that we have not previously had to reduce crime and apprehend the perpetrators involved.”

LPD continues to use its Nuisance Abatement Program (NAP) to focus on properties where higher than ordinary crimes occur. The department said NAP has helped reduce crimes in areas such as hotels and apartment complexes.

Incident   2019          2018          % increase/decrease

Arson        17     6       183.3

Murder/

Vol. manslaughter  2       4       -50.0

Forcible rape   79     63     25.4

Robbery   83     77     7.8

Agg. Assault     137  143  -4.2

Simple assault 865  817  5.9

Burglary   269  371  -27.5

Burglary building     134  172  -22.1

Burglary habitation          135  199  -32.2

Larceny    1,846        2,033        -9.2

Burglary vehicle       705  901  -21.8

Vehicle theft    266  241  10.4

Part I Total       2,699        2,938        -8.1

Part II Total      6,237        5,543        12.5

Parts I and II     8,936        8,841        5.4

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