Overall reported crime in Riley County decreased slightly from 2017 to 2018, according to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation’s 2018 Kansas Crime Index.
Riley County police recorded 1,552 offenses in 2018, which includes violent crimes like rape and aggravated assault, as well as property crimes such as theft and burglary. This is about 2.45% less than 2017, which recorded 1,591.
There were 31 more reported violent crimes in 2018 than 2017, increasing to 255. A majority of that change is attributed to a rise in aggravated assaults, which was 170 in 2018 versus 148 in 2017. RCPD Capt. Tim Hegarty said aggravated assaults are the only violent crime that have consistently trended upward over the last five years.
About 75%-80% of those incidents, he said, occurred between people who knew each other. They include domestic violence situations.
At a July Riley County Law Enforcement Agency Board meeting, RCPD Director Dennis Butler said it is difficult to provide a clear method to prevent those aggravated assaults because the people usually know each other, but officers try to mitigate situations by pointing out resources for those in domestic violence relationships.
The number of rapes and robberies increased slightly with five more reported rapes in 2018 than 2017, a total of 56, and six more reported robberies in 2018 than 2017, which totaled 29 incidents.
There were no murders in 2018 compared to two in 2017.
The total number of property crimes decreased about 5.12% from 1,367 in 2017 to 1,297 in 2018.
Burglaries were down about 30.64% from 235 to 163, and thefts were slightly down as well from 1,051 to 1,044. There were nine more vehicle thefts in 2018 than the previous year, from 81 to 90.
The number of reported arsons, which is not included in the KBI’s total offenses, increased from 12 to 16.
“Don’t leave valuables in plain sight or in any unattended vehicle, period,” Hegarty said about ways to protect oneself from property crimes.
“Lock your vehicle. Lock your residences and garages. Most vehicle burglaries are to unlocked vehicles. The greater the effort necessary to commit a property crime, the greater the probability that it won’t be committed.”