Crimes reported in Vidalia rise

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 12, 2000

VIDALIA, La. — The number of felonies reported to Vidalia police rose 34.7 percent from 1998 to 1999, according to figures the Police Department released this week.

Police Chief Billy Hammers believes the increase can be attributed to normal year-to-year fluctuations.

And he said there is little more his 26 full-time officers, including eight patrol officers, can do to to curb those figures.

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&uot;Stepping up patrols is one action we can take, but we’ve already started doing that,&uot; Hammers said. &uot;We’re doing all we can do right now.&uot;

No murders were reported in Vidalia last year, and simple assaults were down 9.3 percent, from 43 to 39.

But all other categories showed an increase from 1998 to 1999, including:

A rise of 143.7 percent in aggravated assaults — from 16 reported in 1998 to 39 reported last year.

An increase of almost 141.7 percent in burglaries, from 12 in 1998 to 29 in 1999.

A 19.8 percent increase in larcenies, or thefts. In all, 139 were reported last year, up from 116 in 1998.

Four motor vehicle thefts last year compared to two in 1998.

Four armed robberies last year up from none the previous year.

Two rapes reported last year compared to one in 1998.

In all, 256 crimes were reported to Vidalia police last year compared to 190 the year before.

In addition, the number of crimes reported in five of the eight categories rose for the period from 1995 through 1999.