Declines in robberies, thefts fuel overall crime drop in February

Significant drops in reported thefts and robberies in February in Pine Bluff contributed to a more than 31 percent decrease in crime compared to a year ago, according to the monthly report from the police department.

There were 304 crimes reported last month compared to 44o for the month of February 2013, a 32 percent decline.

Reported robberies went from 13 in 2013 to five last month.

“We had a crew that was doing robberies and they were doing a lot of robberies but we shut them down,” Police Chief Jeff Hubanks said, referring to a group of men who were arrested in December after a series of robberies at dollar stores and convenience stores in November and December.

Reported thefts dropped almost 50 percent last month compared to a year earlier. There were 98 reported thefts in February, compared to 211 in February 2012, a decrease of 48.54 percent.

Reductions were seen in every category of property crime last month, with half as many commercial burglaries (five compared to 10 in 2013,) residential burglaries (41 last month to 59 in 2013) and motor vehicle thefts (six last month compared to 10 in 2013).

In terms of crimes against persons, there were four rapes or attempted rapes reported last month, five fewer than for the same month in 2013.

Both aggravated assaults and simple assaults recorded slight increases, with aggravated assaults going from 13 in 2013 to 19 last month and simple assaults increasing from 119 in 2013 to 125 last month.

The second murder of the year was reported in February and matches the total number reported for the first two months of 2013.

“Our officers have been doing a good job, plus it’s been cold and that is probably a factor in the numbers,” Hubanks said.

For the first two months of 2014, there were 282 fewer crimes reported in Pine Bluff than there were for the same period last year, a decrease of 29 percent.

In February, the Patrol Division wrote 491 reports, served 67 warrants, investigated 41 traffic accidents that occurred on the streets and 24 more on private lots and arrested 96 adults and two juveniles. They issued 70 traffic citations and 38 warning tickets, plus 49 citations that were the result of accident investigations. There were no arrests for curfew violations.

The Traffic Division investigated 57 accidents on city streets and two on private parking lots, wrote 206 traffic citations, 671 warning citations and 86 additional citations that resulted from accidents. They arrested eight adults, served 32 warrants and wrote 31 additional reports. There were no juvenile arrests or juvenile curfew arrests made by the Traffic Division.