Report ranks Springfield 5th highest in the country for burglaries

Springfield police say break-ins have dropped significantly in more recent years.

A new report ranks Springfield as a city with one of the highest burglary rates in the country but local police say break-ins have dropped significantly in recent years.

The report, “Burglary Odds Across America,” was released by ADT Security Services this week. It uses FBI crime statistics from 2015 to show the states and cities where people are at most risk of burglary.

RELATED: Man sentenced to 11 years for string of Springfield home burglaries

Springfield is listed as the city with the 5th most burglaries per 1,000 people in the country. Springfield’s burglary rate is 17.5 per 1,000 people, the report says, while the No. 1 city, Lake Charles, La., has a rate of 21 burglaries per 1,000 people.

But the ranking doesn’t reflect the trend in local burglaries, Springfield Police Division Capt. Mike Varner said, which have been steadily declining.

“From 2011 through 2016, over the last five years, burglaries have been going down,” Varner said, “and in fact, from 2011 to 2016 burglaries are down 40 percent.”

In 2011, the city saw 1,615 break-ins, according to data from the Springfield Police Division. That number has been declining since 2011. In 2016, Springfield reported about 960 burglaries.

The break-ins are likely motivated by drugs, Varner said.

DETAILS: Springfield mom sent to prison after newborn baby found dead at motel

“A lot of burglaries are related directly to drugs,” he said. “Persons who are out trying to fund their drug habits.”

The ADT report says about 50 percent of burglaries are motivated by drugs.

The city’s ranking is sad to residents like Rick James. He lives next door to a home on Cookston Avenue that was burglarized earlier this year.

“It concerns me for my family and I certainly want them to be safe,” James said.

He takes safety precautions to prevent a burglary but he said he refuses to live in fear.

“I try to be pretty open to people as much as I can and I don’t want things like that to change me or how I treat people,” he said.

Burglaries happen when people are desperate, James said, and he believes the community should do something to let people know they have somewhere to turn for support.

READ MORE: Springfield woman accused of burglary, kicking police officer

“We need to be a community that can come together and be open and honest with each other on these things,” he said, “and help people who are addicts to feel like they can come forward and get help.”

People can help prevent break-ins at their home, Varner said.

“Make sure that they keep their doors and windows locked,” he said. “If it’s nighttime, turn on outdoor lighting.”

Residents should also cut trees and shrubs around windows, he said, and be careful of the trash left on the curb.

“We’re entering the holiday shopping season so it’d be a wise idea that if you get something new, don’t leave the boxes outside that advertise to burglars, ‘Hey, we’ve got new stuff in here so stop in and check us out,’” he said.

If anyone sees anything suspicious around their home, Varner said it should be reported to Springfield Police at 937-324-7680.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Crime

Why isn't the Google's art selfie feature available in two states?
Why isn't the Google's art selfie feature available in two states?

Google’s new Arts & Culture App has been insanely popular over the last week -- and no, it’s not because people are wanting to brush up on their art history skills (though it’s good for that, too). It’s because there’s a hilarious feature where you can upload a photo of yourself and the app will match your face with a...
Boston University study finds repeated hits to the head can cause CTE, without concussions
Boston University study finds repeated hits to the head can cause CTE, without concussions

Kimberly Archie was pleased to hear about the new findings on chronic brain injuries released by Boston University on Thursday.  Doctors at BU have found constant hits to young athletes – even without concussions – cause Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, or CTE.  Archie says this better explains how her son died. “I...
3-month-old girl exposed to heroin, taken to hospital
3-month-old girl exposed to heroin, taken to hospital

Police arrested a woman after they say she exposed her baby to fentanyl. But she told investigators that's not the drug she thought she was using. The baby had to be flown to Children's Hospital from Uniontown. Crystal Cumberland is in jail and facing charges including aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of a child. According to Pennsylvania...
Soldier from Clark County is missing from Fort Drum, New York
Soldier from Clark County is missing from Fort Drum, New York

Spc. Trevor Nichols, a soldier from Clark County, is missing from Fort Drum, N.Y., and a national organization is asking for the public's help in finding him.  "I see absolutely nothing that says foul play" or suicide, Brenda Paradise, a private investigator who volunteers for Guardian Search and Investigations.  That organization...
Dog mauls 4-year-old girl, police say
Dog mauls 4-year-old girl, police say

A 4-year-old girl is recovering at a local hospital after she was mauled by a family friend’s dog, police said.  The attack happened Thursday afternoon at the Meadows Mobile Home Park in Melbourne, police said. Police said the girl's mother dropped the girl off to be watched by a family friend and another woman. The family friend left and...
More Stories