Thefts, specifically shoplifting and car break-ins are the top two crimes affecting the city of Canton, according to the Canton Police Deparment, which has compiled crime data in the last several months.
Police Chief Bob Merchant, who joined the force in May after the former assistant chief was fired, plans to anaylze the information databased on CrimeReports.com, then implement data-driven approaches to curtail crime and boost traffic safety in Canton. He's from Florida, where he was involved in a similar program he says was successful in reducing crime and the severity of traffic crashes.
"There's a lot of good things that can be derived from meeting and discussing and analyzing and I'm all about that," Merchant told Canton-Sixes Patch. "It's something that really hasn't been done, so in the meantime, I'm just focusing on those areas where you have a higher probability of car break-ins occurring.
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Since about the first of the year, more than 69 car break-ins have been reported in Canton, almost as many as the approximate 75 residential and commercial burglaries logged from Jan. 1 to Nov. 14.
More than 440 Canton thefts were reported in that time period, with various forms of theft by taking, shoplifting, identity fraud and forgery representing more than 70 percent of those, according to a CrimeReport.com report provided by Merchant, which is attached.
"Our visibility efforts are going to increase from now through the holidays in areas where people tend to congregate, where people are inclined to shop," Merchant added. "We're just going to increase visibility and hopefully deter some of these entering automobiles and larcenies that occur as a result of areas that tend to have more people congregate."
Those areas include the parking lots and shopping centers along Highways 5 and 20, including Marietta Highway and Riverstone Parkway.
"These businesses over the holidays have a fairly significant [number] of people who come and shop and we want people to come and shop and feel safe in this community and I'm going to do everything I possibly can to make sure that happens," Merchant said.
Zoom in on your neighborhood at CrimeReports.com to find the police reports filed near you. Incidents on the map are coded as follows:
- A is for Assault;
- B is for Breaking & Entering;
- P is for Property Crime;
- T is for Theft;
- TV is for Theft from Vehicle;
- O is for Other, which include catergories for family, weapons and other offenses, such as arson and kidnapping; and
- Q is for Quality of Life violations, which include drug, alcohol and disorderly conduct charges.