Burglaries down in Shawnee County as more people staying close to home

Photo courtesy MGN.
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Burglaries are down both in Shawnee County and the city of Topeka so far this month from a year ago, officials say.

Shawnee County Sheriff Brian Hill says the drop may be a result of more people staying home as a result of the coronavirus -- or COVID-19 -- pandemic.

Officials with the Shawnee County Sheriff's Office say crime is down 16 percent so far this month over the same period a year ago in Shawnee County, with statistics from March 1 to 23.

Shawnee County Sheriff Brian Hill says burglaries are down 50 percent, from 18 a year ago to 9 so far this month.

Thefts are down 63 percent, from 16 last year to 6 this year.

And damage to property and vandalism are down 53 percent, from 43 a year ago to 20 this year.

In addition to more people being home, Hill said, the county's drop in crime may be the result of arrests made by the Shawnee County Drug Enforcement Task Force.

Meanwhile, Topeka Police Department officials report decreases in several crime categories from March 1 to 23 this year compared to a year ago, though some areas have seen an increase.

According to information provided by police Lt. Manny Munoz, the capital city saw 1 homicide in 2019 and 0 so far this year. Burglaries are down from 53 a year ago to 50 this year. Assaults and batteries are down 11, with 88 a year ago and 77 this year. Auto thefts also are down, with 39 in 2020 compared to 56 in 1029. And thefts are down, as well, from 253 a year ago to 228 this year.

Several categories are higher so far this year in Topeka, including aggravated assault and battery, with 24 cases this year compared to 18 cases a year ago; robbery, with 12 cases this year compared to 7 a year ago; and rape, with 10 cases this year compared to 3 a year ago.