Chief Reynolds Encourages Neighborhood Watch Programs to Reduce Vehicle Thefts and Burglaries

Silver City, NM - Crime in Silver City dropped in 2017 across nearly all categories, compared to 2016, according to a recent report by Silver City Police Chief Ed Reynolds. The greatest drops in crime were noted in damage to a vehicle, which decreased nearly 35 percent and criminal damage to property, which dropped 21 percent. Larcenies are down 30 percent, and burglaries dropped 13 percent.

Both calls for service and self-initiated activity by police officers dropped 10 percent in 2017, for a total of 12,571 and 24,278, respectively. Citations issued were down 27 percent, total arrests dropped nearly 14 percent and motor vehicle collisions decreased nearly 16 percent. Crime was up in just two categories: robberies, which increased to 5 from 2, and motor vehicle thefts which jumped to 34 in 2017, up from 19.

"I am very grateful to my officers and staff who continuously strive to make Silver City as safe as possible for all residents and visitors," said Reynolds. "Though clearly there is always more work to be done, I am very happy to be able to report that Silver City is a safe, secure community, particularly when compared to other communities of similar size." Silver City crime statistics are compared to national data for towns of similar size, known as the crime index, which compares crime rates to total population.

Reynolds noted that though burglaries dropped to 118 in 2017, from 136 in 2016, residential burglaries increased by 8 for a total of 88, while burglaries of local businesses dropped to just 30 compared to 57 in 2016. He attributes the overall decrease in burglaries to his department's focus on higher crime areas of town, and suggested that neighborhood associations, and especially neighborhood watch programs, offer the best protection against residential burglaries, property damage and even motor vehicle thefts. Motor vehicle thefts also include trailers, ATVs and other recreational vehicles, as well as tractors and other heavy equipment. Reynolds said he and his staff are working to identify effective strategies to reduce the problem, and emphasized the importance of citizen involvement in crime prevention.

"My staff and I will work with any resident willing to partner with us to make Silver City as safe as possible," he said. "Neighborhood watch programs are a great way to reduce crime in residential areas. When citizens join together with law enforcement, criminals have a much harder time getting away with illegal activity."

Reynolds urges motorists to never leave a running vehicle unattended, and to always securely lock and store cars and other motorized vehicles to prevent theft. He also suggests that residents consider adding anti-theft devices to their vehicles, such as car alarms or low-cost vehicle tracking systems, and engraving vehicle identification numbers on the windows. And given that newer vehicles have remote starting systems and are more likely to be stolen, Reynolds suggests that motorists never leave a spare key fob in the vehicle, and asks citizens to immediately report any suspicious activity to police.

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