GALION — According to statistics released recently by Crawford County Municipal Court, drug-related crime in Crawford County continues to drop in this part of north central Ohio. In fact total drug-related crime in the county was down 20 percent from 2017 t0 2018 and has dropped 59 percent since 2014.
Crawford County Common Pleas Judge Sean Leuthold is thrilled.
“I am very pleased,” he said. “Drug-related crime has been drastically reduced, and it still dropping.”
He said the drops are a team effort that includes all law enforcement officials in the county.
Also, residents in Crawford County have taken an active role in their communities and they continue to alert law enforcement of any suspicious activity.
“This drop in crime is a result of excellent work by law enforcement, law directors and prosecutors,” Leuthold said. “However, I do believe the courts have played a role in our success. People have learned that Crawford County is the wrong place to be involved in drug-related crime. If you commit drug-related crimes in Crawford County, you are going to be punished.”
In Galion, police chief Brian Saterfield reported a 46-percent decline in drug-related break-ins and burglaries between 2017 and 2018, from 52 incidents in 2017 to just 28 last year. Thefts in Galion also have declined, from 242 to in 2017 to 214 last year. One increase, also though not really that significant, was the increase in Galion of robberies that were deemed drug related. There were none in 2017, but there were two in 2018. The drop in the total of drug-related crimes in Galion was 17 percent between 2017 and 2018.
Overall in Galion, the drop in drug-related crimes between 2017 and 2018 was down 17 percent. Between 2014 and 2018 drug-related crime has dropped 59 percent in Galion, robberies have fallen 60 percent; thefts 54 percent; and burglaries and break-ins 77 percent.
In Crestline and Bucyrus, as well as townships across Crawford County, the drops also have been significant.
Bucyrus chief David Koepke, reported the total drop in drug-related crime between 2014 and 2018 is 51 percent, from 672 incidents in 2014 to 328 in 2018. The drop in drug-related robberies was 100 percent, from 10 in 2014 to zero last year; drug-related thefts, were 470 in 2014 and 241 last year. There were 192 drug-related burglaries and break-ins in 2014 and just 87 last year. Major crime in Bucyrus deemed drug-related in 2017 were: burglaries/break-ins (98), thefts (312), robberies (4) for a total of (414).
“I am very proud of the great work law enforcement has done in reducing drug-related crime,” said Crawford County prosecutor Matt Crall. “I also am proud of the hard work my prosecutors have done in obtaining convictions and putting dangerous people behind bars. I am overjoyed to see that our county has become a safer place.
“There is a clear correlation between those who break the law (being held) accountable and the decrease in serious crime which affects (those) we serve.”
In Crestline, drug-related burglaries and break-ins totaled 96 in 2014, 45 in 2017 and 40 in 2018, for an overall drop of 58 percent in those five years. As far as thefts deemed drug-related, where were 253 in 2014, 100 in 2017 and 65 in 2018, for a total drop of 74 percent. Statistics from Crestline police Chief Jeff Shook showed one drug related robbery in 2014, one in 2017 and zero in 2018. The combined drop in all drug-relate crime between 2014 and 2018 was 70 percent.
In Crawford County’s townships, the drops were similar, according to Sheriff Scott Kent. Burglaries and break-ins totaled 111 in 2015, 41 in 2017 and 35 in 2018, for a total drop of 68 percent; Drug-related thefts were 224 in 2014, 112 in 2017 and 92 in 2018, or 59 percent overall; As far as drug related robberies, there were none in 2014, none in 2017 and zero in 2018. The total drop in drug-related crime between 2014 and 2018 was 61 percent (68 percent drop in burglaries and break-ins; and 59 percent in drug-related thefts).
“Criminals now know Crawford County is not the place to commit crimes,” said Crawford County Municipal Judge Shane Leuthold. “Criminal behavior is being successfully investigated, prosecuted — and most importantly — punished in the appropriated manner. Simply put, criminals are now been held accountable the the crime rate indicates that.