Sikeston sees increase in assaults with weapons

Monday, January 28, 2013

SIKESTON, Mo. -- Sikeston experienced a jump in the number of aggravated assaults last year, while other crimes were steady.

Uniform Crime Report statistics are submitted to the state by the Sikeston Department of Public Safety on a monthly basis. State officials then forward those to the FBI on an annual basis. Department officials also gather the statistics and submit them, along with the numbers from previous years, to the city council in an annual report.

There were 365 aggravated assaults reported in Sikeston in 2012 as compared with 231 in 2011, 232 in 2010 and 242 in 2009, according to Capt. Jim McMillen, public information officer for the department.

"Of all the crime statistics, that really stands out," McMillen said. Aggravated assault, he explained, "is an assault where a weapon is used, where they are trying to cause serious bodily injury using some type of deadly weapon -- a knife or gun, something like that."

That increase has had an effect on a couple of other crime statistics, such as the number for violent crimes.

"This includes murder, manslaughter, rape, robbery and aggravated assault all together. We had 394 last year," McMillen said. "In 2011 it was 266, it was at 269 for 2010 and 292 for 2009. It is higher, but I think we're seeing that because of the aggravated assaults."

Also skewed, McMillen noted, is the city's total crime index, which takes most of the top crimes to determine the rate of crime per 100,000 residents.

"It's a number meant to show how safe your neighborhood is," McMillen said.

Sikeston's total crime index was 1,343 for 2012, an increase from an index of 1,042 for 2011; 1,226 for 2010; and 1,168 for 2009.

"So again, it's higher and I really have to attribute it to this jump in aggravated assault. That's really the only thing that's noticeably higher," McMillen said. "It's a pretty good bump in aggravated assault. I think a lot of people will look at those numbers and ask why. There has to be a reason for it, but we're not sure what it is."

The FBI also looks at the number of property crimes, which includes "burglary, larceny or theft, motor vehicle theft, robbery and arson," according to McMillen. "It was 971 last year; in 2011 it was 804; 986 in 2010; and 913 in 2009."

In other statistics included in the Uniform Crime Report along with comparisons to prior years:

* With two homicides being reported in 2011, one in 2010 and three in 2009, as far has homicides go it was "kind of average this last year," McMillen said. "In 2012 we had two criminal homicides."

Sikeston hasn't had any negligent manslaughters reported since the beginning of 2009, McMillen said.

* The number of forcible rapes has remained about the same in recent years.

"We were at five last year, which is what we had in 2011, too," McMillen said. In 2010, seven rapes were reported with 2009 having the highest number in recent years at 10.

* "For robbery we had 22 for 2012," McMillen said.

In 2011, there were 28 robberies reported with a dip to 20 in 2010 but 37 reported in 2009. "So we're down on that one," McMillen said.

* Burglaries saw a bump in 2010 when 228 were reported, with 184 in 2009, but have tapered down to 129 in 2011 and 149 last year.

* The number of larcenies and thefts was up in 2012 to 769, an increase from the 609 reported in 2011. In 2010 there were 692 robberies reported and in 2009 there were 644.

McMillen said this increase doesn't concern him as much as the increase in aggravated assaults as the number of robberies can be quickly inflated by just a couple of people on a robbery spree "breaking into cars and stuff like that."

* The number of motor vehicle thefts is down at 25 last year compared with 30 in 2011 and 28 in 2010. In 2009 there were 42 robberies reported.

* Arson is another crime stat that has remained relatively low in Sikeston in recent years.

"We had six last year," McMillen said. There were eight arsons in 2011, nine in 2010 and six in 2009.

Pertinent address:

Sikeston, Mo.

Map of pertinent addresses

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