Burglaries On the Rise

Law enforcement say they see burglaries rise every year during the holidays. A rash of burglaries recently occurred on North Street. Patrick Leshawn Johnson has been arrested and arraigned. His family says it was his first offense. Police look for a second offender.

This year there was the expectation of a bigger jump in crime due to the layoffs of hundreds, but it's not happening. Sgt. Greg Sowell said,  " Of course, unemployment rates play into the total economic picture and certainly the economic picture is taken into consideration on crime statistics and the rise of the crime. However, we haven't not seen anything I would call out of the ordinary."

Typically honest people turning to crime because of a hardship isn't that common, notes Sheriff Thomas Kerss.  " Most people, if they have the mind set to steal they'll steal rather they have a job or not." Kerss said,  " It's greed. It's crime of opportunity. It's to be able to take something and someone that worked for it without having to put forth the effort themselves."

Law enforcement attribute in part the community's social services and the city's generous population for helping those going through difficult times. Love In The Name of Christ is organizing its Christmas family adoption program. Director, Roger Aker said,    " We are going to be adopting families clear up the 19th, so if anybody wants to take on another family we certainly got a few more. "

And sometimes you don't even have to encourage people to be nice. Take for instance six year old Grace Leuschner.   She voluntarily donated all her birthday presents to the agency. Her gift was knowing that some unfortunate children will have presents under the tree on Christmas morning .