Most crime in the city falls in second quarter

October 7, 2009

By Tim Pfarr

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Spike in larceny attributed to busted prowler

Aggravated assault, residential burglary and vehicle theft have decreased in the city from the first quarter to the second quarter of 2009.

Aggravated assaults decreased from two to one, residential burglaries decreased from 17 to 10 and vehicle thefts decreased from eight to six.However, larceny increased during this time.

From the first to second quarter, instances of low-grade larceny (of less than $250) increased from 18 to 25, and instances of serious larceny (of more than $250) increased from eight to 12.

Police Chief Melinda Irvine attributed the increase in larceny to car prowler Raymond White, 32, who struck Newcastle numerous times this summer before being arrested.

On Sept. 14, White was charged with first-degree theft, and he pleaded not guilty. Irvine said she expects more charges to be brought against White in the future when more victims submit statements concerning their stolen property. Some fingerprint evidence is still being prepared, which may also yield more charges.

Newcastle Master Police Officer Jerry Gilley estimated that White had broken into at least a dozen vehicles, perhaps as many as 20. White admitted to breaking into numerous vehicles, but Irvine said the exact number of vehicles he broke into will not be verified until the fingerprint evidence arrives for the break-ins he did not admit to.

White is being held in the King County Jail, and his bail for the theft charge was set at $10,000. However, White is also being held for a parole violation, so he will remain in jail.

White’s criminal history includes convictions for first-degree possession of stolen property; two counts of second-degree possession of stolen property; two counts of violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act; making/having burglary tools; resisting arrest; third-degree escape; obstructing; a domestic violence protection order violation; and fourth-degree domestic violence assault.

“I’m very happy to see a noticeable drop in car prowls in the city since Mr. White was arrested and booked into jail,” Irvine said.

However, she said she is still concerned with other crime rates, including residential burglary.

Although the instances of residential burglary dropped to 10 in the second quarter of this year, it still marks an overall increase, as the number of second-quarter residential burglaries was nine in 2008.

“Anything that rises to the double-digit level is something I care about very much,” Irvine said while speaking to the Newcastle Chamber of Commerce on Sept. 9.

Also, between the first and second quarters of 2009, arsons increased from zero to one and commercial burglaries held steady at one. There were no homicides, rapes and robberies.

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