Reported crime down 20.51 percent in Pine Bluff in May

Despite a significant increase in reported robberies in Pine Bluff last month, reported crime dropped 20.51 percent when compared to a year ago, according to the monthly statistical report from the police department.

The increase in robberies was partially offset by decreases in residential burglaries and thefts, and the 20.51 percent figure was almost two percentage points less that the 22.24 percent decrease reported for April.

“One of the factors was that for almost the first half of May, we had a robbery nearly every night,” Police Chief Jeff Hubanks said. “The people involved obviously hadn’t read The Commercial to know that when something like that happens, we set up on the likely locations, caught some suspects and have good cases against them.”

There were 22 reported robberies in May, compared to seven in May 2013, and multiple suspects have been arrested and linked to multiple incidents.

While reported robberies went up, residential burglaries declined from 93 in May 2013 to 75 last month, while commercial burglaries saw an increase of one incident, from 12 in May 2013 to 13 last month.

Reported thefts dropped from 219 in May of last year to 145 last month, while reported thefts of motor vehicles dropped from 23 to 16.

Looking at reported crimes against persons, rapes and attempted rapes decreased from five to two; aggravated assaults showed a slight increase, from 35 to 44; and simple assaults dropped from 182 to 176.

Hubanks said he expects that there will be “peaks and valleys” for the rest of the year with regard to the statistics.

“We may waffle between 20 and 22 percent,” he said. “I didn’t think we were going to sustain that 22 percent, but our people are working very hard and they’re proud of what we’ve been able to do.”

In May the department’s patrol division wrote 767 reports, investigated 78 accidents, issued 121 traffic citations and made 121 adult arrests, including 13 felonies. Four juveniles were also arrested.

The department’s traffic division investigated 90 accidents, wrote 122 tickets in connection with those accidents and issued 326 other traffic citations as well as 302 warnings.

They served 45 warrants and made 13 adult arrests.