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MailTribune.com
  • Medford burglary reports on the rise

  • Reported burglaries across Medford are up nearly 30 percent compared with the same time last year, according to the latest round of crime statistics released by the Medford Police Department.
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  • Reported burglaries across Medford are up nearly 30 percent compared with the same time last year, according to the latest round of crime statistics released by the Medford Police Department.
    From January through April — the last month MPD released its crime statistics — 214 burglaries were reported in Medford, a 27 percent increase from the 186 burglaries reported during that span in 2013.
    "It's not that we have that many more burglars out there, it's that we have people out there that are continually doing burglaries," said MPD Lt. Mike Budreau. "I do think that there is a correlation between the burglaries and the drug use. Drugs are the second most reported crime that we investigate behind thefts."
    The 600 drug offenses reported to MPD during the first four months of this year marks a 10 percent decline compared last year's 672, but the information officers are gathering from burglary suspects during arrests suggests drugs are the driving force behind property crimes such as theft and burglary.
    "We ask them why they do this and we find that the majority of people that are committing property crimes are doing so to supply their habit," Budreau said. "If there was some way that we could deal with the amount of people addicted to methamphetamine, heroin and prescription medications, we would start to see other crimes like burglary decrease."
    From 2010 through last year, burglaries have risen steadily in Medford. In 2010, 416 reported burglaries marked a 21 percent increase compared with 2009, and that increased 10 percent in 2011, 9 percent more in 2012 and 8 percent more in 2013.
    Though they are lulling so far this year, reported drug crimes have risen every year in that span except last, when they fell 6 percent.
    Reported thefts also have been growing. In 2010, 8 percent more thefts were reported than the 2,705 reported in 2009. Department crime statistics show 2011 with a 22 percent increase over 2010 and 2012 with an 8 percent increase over 2011. Thefts through the first four months of this year are outpacing the same span last year by 15 percent, and 2013 saw an 8 percent increase in reported thefts compared with 2012.
    "When you look at the motivating factor ... it's not to put food on the table, it's not because they wanted the lawn mower, it's not because they needed the entertainment system," Budreau said. "Property that is being stolen is being traded or pawned for drugs."
    — Sam Wheeler
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