ABILENE, Texas - Fraud and forgery increased 15 percent in 2012, according to statistics released Wednesday by the Abilene Police Department.
Abilene Police Chief Stan Standridge said three APD detectives and a detective sergeant investigated an estimated 828 fraud and forgery offenses last year.
"They frequently offer this advice to our citizens – safeguard your credit cards and checks just like you safeguard large amounts of cash," Standridge said. "Too many residents leave these items in vehicles, which are subsequently burglarized. A locked car is no longer a deterrent!"
Also in 2012, violent crime increased 2.1 percent, largely due to seven more forcible rapes and 12 more robberies.
"Violent crime is very difficult to impact from a law enforcement perspective," Standridge said. "Violent crime is really representative of our community. Having said that, I think it's important to have a good dose of perspective. still remains a very good place to live and raise a family and go to school."
Standridge said 2012 brought many challenges, including a child death investigation that led to Tiffany Klapheke – the former wife of a Dyess airman – being jailed.
Though there were two fewer murders in 2012 than in 2011, the murder of Dan Nickerson Jr. remains unsolved. Nickerson's body was found in an alleyway in June 2012.
"We've had lots of leads and we've literally spent hundreds of hours of investigation trying to run this thing down," Standridge said. "It's a very difficult investigation because many of the persons that are potentially involved are not cooperating with police; however, we do remain committed to solving this homicide."
2012 also included two officer-involved fatal shootings and the life-threatening shooting of a 12-year-old boy who was shot on following a drug transaction involving a parent.
Other statistics in the report:
*- Property crime increased by 1.6 percent, largely because of 145 more thefts.
"I am pleased to report there were 76 fewer residential and commercial burglaries," Standridge said.
*- DWI arrests increased to 414 in 2012, up from 404.
*- Assaults fell to 2,291 offenses reported, a 3.5 percent reduction.
*- Citizens called 9-1-1 in every 6.7 minutes.
*- Citizens called the non-emergency number every 2.7 minutes.
*- APD's Communications Division handled 319,280 calls for service, including 83,621 calls that required police response.
*- Calls for service increased by more than 3 percent during 2012.