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Crime up in Oxford, down in Addison

January 05, 2011 - Overall, it appears that crime was on the rise in Oxford Township last year, while Addison Township experienced a number of decreases in various offenses.

According to data compiled by the Oakland County Sheriff's Department, when Oxford Township's 2009 and 2010 numbers are compared, the instances of fraud increased from 35 to 47; motor vehicle thefts jumped from 8 to 17; assaults rose from 95 to 108; the number of forcible sexual offenses increased from 3 to 11; and incidents of property damage rose from 55 to 69.

Some areas experienced only slight increases such as juvenile complaints and offenses, which went from 122 to 125; drug/narcotics violations (10 to 12); and burglary/home invasions (51 to 52).

Sheriff's Sgt. Scott Patterson, who's temporarily in command of the Oxford substation, attributed some of the increased crime to hard economic times.

"Usually, when people are out of work, it forces them to do some things they normally wouldn't do," he said.

However, the good news for Oxford is that larceny violations decreased from 212 to 174.

"I have to give my detective a little credit on that," Patterson said.

Det. Jason Louwaert's hard work put some local heroin users behind bars. These individuals were, in Patterson's opinion, "wreaking havoc on the area."

"Some subjects hadn't worked in like two to four years, but they have a $100 to $200 a day heroin habit," Patterson said. "They're supporting it by going around breaking into vehicles and sheds and houses in the community, taking what they can find and pawning it or selling it on the street."

Oxford residents can sleep safely in their beds secure in the knowledge there hasn't been a murder in the community since 2006.

Over to the east in neighboring Addison Township, a variety of crimes actually decreased last year when compared to 2009.

Offenses that experienced declines included assaults (33 to 25), forcible sexual offenses (6 to 0), motor vehicle theft (5 to 3), fraud (14 to 12), drugs/narcotics violations (13 to 2), and property damage (34 to 21).

However, there were some crimes that increased such as larceny violations, which went from 31 to 39, and juvenile offenses and complaints, which rose from 18 to 22.

Surprisingly, the number of traffic crashes decreased in Oxford Township from 531 to 501.

However, crashes increased in Addison, from 150 to 154.

The total number of calls for service from the sheriff's department increased in both Oxford and Addison.

In Oxford, they went from 6,810 in 2009 to 7,446 last year. In Addison, the service calls totalled 3,045 last year, compared to 2,706 in 2009.

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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