Angelina County annual report: Property crime increases in 2017

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - There are two types of crimes in Angelina County, violent and those involving property

The 2017 annual report, which was released by the sheriff's office in Angelina County, states this past year's property crime increased by 13 percent.

Captain Alton Lenderman said open opportunity is one reason behind this increase.

"A guy goes in and pays for his gas, lays his wallet down, and forgets to pick it up. The next guy walks out in front of him and picks it up. It's just a crime of opportunity, but it is a theft," Lenderman said.

Lenderman also noted that the wide range of property crime adds to those numbers.

"Property crimes can be anything from the theft of a flower pot off a porch to the theft of a motor grader," Lenderman said.

Officials said the economy and unemployment rate could be a factor in high theft, but also what's in demand plays a factor as well.

"When the price of just raw metals like tin, copper, and brass go up, we notice that we have an increase in those types of thefts," Lenderman said.

Lenderman believes every crime cannot be stopped, but having a high law enforcement presence in neighborhoods will help.

"It's one of the reasons we try to mark our cars, so they're a lot easier to see. Now criminals will know that we're in that neighborhood or we're in that area," Lenderman said.

He said drug busts are linked with property crimes and help law enforcement retrieve a victim's valuables.

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