Economy not increasing criminal activity

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Ted Sullivan
Saturday, February 7, 2009
— The number of property crimes committed in the Janesville area has not increased despite the region's economic struggles, law enforcement officials said.

Burglaries, thefts, shoplifting and other crimes reported to law enforcement remain consistent with previous years, officials said.

Layoffs and foreclosures have plagued the area for most of the past year.

The state reported that Janesville had the highest unemployment rate in Wisconsin in December. Janesville's unadjusted unemployment rate was 8.1 percent.

But the economic times are not affecting criminal behavior.

The number of property crimes reported to the Janesville Police Department in 2008 was slightly below the five-year average, Deputy Chief David Moore said.

Police have not seen many crimes related to the economy, but officers can't always determine the motivation for a crime, he said.

The number of property crimes reported to the Rock County Sheriff's Office also has not increased in recent months, Capt. Todd Christiansen said.

Although people might be struggling financially, property crimes often are motivated by drug use.

People often sell or trade stolen items for drugs, Moore and Christiansen said.

A police department survey done a couple years ago showed a correlation between drug use and property crimes.

About 46 percent of 120 random people involved in property crimes had histories of drug arrests or involvement.

Last updated: 9:42 am Thursday, December 13, 2012

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