Burglaries in the Payson area have almost doubled over the past year while the number of thefts have decreased.
For the first 11.4 months of 2006, there were 96 burglaries, up from 57 in 2005 and 51 in 2004.
Thefts, on the other hand, decreased from 345 to 266 in 276. In 2004, there were 347 thefts.
The statistics for 2004 and 2005 are for the complete year. The final figures for 2006 are not yet finished.
A burglary is defined as a group or individual breaking into a home, structure or vehicle when stealing items. A theft is when something out in the open is stolen, such as at a supermarket or an item from a front yard.
Payson Police Commander Don Engler said, burglaries are always felonies, while thefts can be classified as misdemeanors.
Many of the burglaries and thefts reported are tied to the increased use of methamphetamine, he said.
More than 50 percent of the thefts are linked to the use of meth, while more than 60 percent of burglaries are linked to the drug.
"An awful lot of it goes hand-in-hand," he said. "A lot of it is occurring during the nighttime hours."
Another reason for the increase in burglaries is that the police department is now covering Star Valley, adding that is not the sole reason.
Home burglaries have become more prevalent.
To fight the increased burglaries and thefts, the police department is doing a few different things.
- Trying to increase patrols, especially during the nighttime hours.
- Contacting and stopping individuals who are out late at night.
- Increased surveillance.
Repeat offenders are not uncommon, the police commander said, mentioning there are quite a few who commit burglaries and thefts after being released from jail.
He said there are some burglars who were apprehended in 2006 and are now serving prison sentences.