Weather

As snow and ice piled up, crime went down

Last week's ice and snow didn't put a complete deep freeze on bad guys, but it did seem to put a chill on crime.

Crime reports were down last week compared with more routine weeks, said Officer Chris Sutton, a Lexington police spokesman.

Statistics were not available, but police noted a "general decrease" in the number of burglaries, robberies and other assorted crimes reported after the snow and ice blew in late on Jan. 26, Sutton said.

"More people were staying home," he said. The storm "limited opportunity for criminals to go out and commit crimes and kept people home to prevent" burglaries.

With thousands of customers without power last week, Lexington didn't all of a sudden become Mayberry.

Some burglaries, criminal mischief and assaults were still reported.

At Bondurant Pharmacy, 1465 Village Drive, the store closed for three days last week due to a lack of electricity. Someone figured the alarm system wasn't working, broke in and stole a handgun at some point late Wednesday or early Thursday, said the pharmacy's Eric Brewer.

"I'm sure they saw it as an opportunity," he said.

There were, apparently, two crimes of "opportunity" in other parts in Madison County.

In Richmond, police reports showed two burglary victims were away at shelters when their residences were burglarized. In both instances, computers and Sony Playstations were taken among other items.

In Western Kentucky, where the storm damage was much more severe, there has not been any notable uptick in crime so far, Kentucky State Police spokesman Sgt. David Jude said.

Back in Lexington, a chain saw was reported stolen on Friday and another on Saturday.

The largest crime occurred some time between Jan. 24 and 26, the weekend before the storm, when four generators and three gas cans were stolen from a business's trailer on Bull Lea Road, according to police reports.

No one has been charged in relation to any storm-related crimes.

The only person arrested and charged for a crime directly related to the storm was Roger D. Wiley, who was arrested Jan 29.

Police say Wiley had his eye on a large police department generator parked at North Broadway and West Sixth Street.

That evening, police said, he pulled his pickup next to the generator and tried to hitch it to his trailer, Sutton said.

A police officer was parked nearby and witnessed everything.

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