Crime decreases in Jeffco during ‘09

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By Emile Hallez

Crime rates in Jefferson County dipped slightly in 2009, though the number of homicides was equal to that of the preceding four years combined.

The county experienced a total of 3,037 major crimes, including homicides, thefts, unlawful sexual behavior and other crimes in 2009, down from 3,317 in 2008, according to data from the Sheriff’s Office. The total number of minor crimes, such as forgeries, fraud cases and trespassing, also ebbed, going from 5,708 in 2008 to 5,356 last year.

Homicide cases jumped to six, up from zero the year before. Attempted homicides, however, dropped from seven to one.

“At the conclusion of 2009, Jefferson County had experienced six homicides and one attempted homicide,” Sheriff Ted Mink said during a public hearing in January. “Not to minimize it, but three of these were murder-suicides.”

Despite the number of assault and burglary cases declining for the year, the frequency of cases was higher in the fourth quarter of 2009 than the previous year.

“I don’t have explanations for some of these,” Mink said. “Assaults are up a little bit. Burglaries are up a little bit as well. I think the biggest trend is (that) forgeries are up significantly.”

Forgery cases climbed by 60 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009 over the same quarter in 2008, and the total number of cases rose from 54 to 73.


Contact Emile Hallez Williams at emile@evergreenco.com or 303-933-2233, ext. 22. For updates, check www.ColumbineCourier.com.