Criminal activity declined dramatically in Pinecrest last year according to statistics in the just released Village Police Department 2010 annual report.
Statistics in the report reveal that there were just 595 Part I crimes recorded in the Village last year, a 10.2 per cent reduction from 2009 and the lowest level of serious crime in Pinecrest’s 13-year history. Police Chief John Hohensee attributed the drop in crime to around-the-clock patrols by his officers and to a vigilant citizenry.
“We have a significant number of uniformed patrol officers in this community at all times of the day and our response times are excellent; we respond to emergencies in under three minutes,” said Hohensee. “I have learned over the years that the best way for us to be successful is to have an alert and attentive citizenry that is able and willing to call us immediately when they see something suspicious, and then we have to be in a position to deploy the necessary resources and get there quickly and make apprehensions.”
The annual report, with a color picture on the cover of the police department’s new Ford Fusion Hybrid police cruiser photographed at Pinecrest Gardens, was distributed at last week’s Village Council meeting. The report shows declines in virtually every crime category. Once again there were no murders in Pinecrest and just seven robberies, as opposed to 13 in 2009. There were 80 reported burglaries in the Village, one less than in the previous year, while incidents of assault remained constant at nine. Larceny fell to 474 incidents, as opposed to 536 last year, and there were 19 reported auto thefts, as opposed to 23 in 2009. There were zero reports of arson and six reported incidents of sex offense.
Over the last decade, the report states that Part I crime has been reduced by a remarkable 28.9 percent. Hohensee said the dramatic decline was because South Florida criminals have come to know that the Village is not the place to go to commit a crime.
“Over time, Pinecrest has developed quite a reputation among the criminal element that it’s pretty risky to come in here and commit crimes,” said Hohensee. “I think there’s a commensurate risk for them to do that and I think the word is out in the criminal community.”
Hohensee also praised his team of detectives for being vigilant and diligent in efforts to solve crimes and thwart criminal activity. He said the detectives using undercover vehicles conducted numerous successful undercover operations during the year to help put an end to several rashes of residential and vehicle burglaries.
“We had a good year of catching the bad guys,” said Hohensee. “And, make no mistake, that does have a deterring affect because if those crimes go unsolved it emboldens the burglars. Being able to catch them in the act and take them off the street stops the crime right at that moment and makes those guys reluctant to come back into Pinecrest once they do get out of jail because they figure, ‘My luck isn’t so good there and we’ll try fishing in another hole,’ so to speak.”