Burglaries, drug cases fuel increase in county crime stats for January

There were 191 total crimes reported in the unincorporated areas of Jefferson County in January, 20 more than for the same month a year ago, according to the monthly report from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

Accounting for the jump were increases in residential burglaries, which went from three to eight, and five felony drug cases, compared to none in January 2012. The report showed one murder in January, but that figure will increase to two because the female victim, Mendi Bell, was pregnant at the time and the baby also died, authorities said.

The report, which includes both criminal and traffic offenses, showed five domestic battery incidents last month, four less than in January 2012. Four vehicles were reported stolen in January, one less than from a year ago, and there were 11 thefts reported, one less than in January 2012.

There were two forgeries reported to the sheriff’s department in January, the same number as in 2012, along with two cases of fraudulent use of a credit or debit card, and one case of financial identity fraud.

Eight people were arrested for public intoxication, and seven for DWI.

The monthly report lists lesser known offenses as well, including one case of insulting or abusing a teacher last month, one dog bite, one case of interfering with custody, one littering case, and one case of failure to register or comply with reporting requirements.

In terms of traffic offenses, there was one report of failure to use a seat belt, one driving on a suspended license, three for driving while license suspended or revoked and two cases of careless or prohibited driving.