Burglary arrests down in city, county

Mike Linn

Burglary is becoming less and less popular in Roosevelt County and Portales, something police say is attributed to aggressive patrolling and information sharing between law enforcement officials.
Arrests for the crime in 2003 are the lowest in at least six years in both the county and city. And burglary arrests in the city and county are down 39 percent since 2000.
Portales Police Capt. Lonnie Berry lauded the work of his midnight crew, claiming they were the main reason for the decrease in Portales.
“I told our midnight guys that I hold them 100 percent responsible for the way (burglary crimes) have dropped, because of the techniques and them not giving up,” Berry said.
Berry said the midnight police crew patrol the city by coordinates, and are particularly keen to suspicious activity. Berry added that his office is proficient at sharing information with officials with the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Department and vice versa.
Berry said he noticed the trend during the holidays, when more burglaries usually occur because residents leave town or have electronic equipment and Christmas gift visible to burglars thanks to Christmas lights.
This holiday season, however, Berry said that didn’t happen, that burglaries actually decreased.
The 2003 crime reports for the Portales Police Department and the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Department were given to the Portales News-Tribune this week.
Crime trends in the county include a 91 percent increase in DWI arrests — up to 21 arrests from 11 in 2002 — and a more than 800 percent increase in narcotics arrests from 1999.
Sgt. Rick Short of the sheriff’s department said more DWI arrests have been made because of more aggressive DWI saturation patrols and three additional deputies working in Roosevelt County.
There were 10 less drug arrests in 2003 from the previous year (42 as opposed to 52), but there was only five arrests in 1999.
Short attributes the surge in drug arrests to the popularity and availability of methamphetamine.
“It’s just got more prevalent in the last two or three years because of the availability of the product to make it,” Short said.