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Crime down in Cd'A

by BILL BULEY
Staff Writer | December 28, 2022 1:08 AM

COEUR d'ALENE — Come Christmas, porch pirates plunder.

They wait for a chance to steal packages left outside homes, and they're often successful.

According to a recent Safewise report, 260 million packages nationwide were stolen from porches over the past 12 months. That's 50 million more than last year.

But not in Coeur d'Alene.

Capt. Dave Hagar said there were no package thefts reported to police over this holiday season.

He said, while that was a little surprising, there are reasons why porch pirates are sailing around the Lake City.

"We work really closely in our community, the Ring camera and those things," he said. "People when they see something, they say something. I feel like that’s a great benefit to us because they're not afraid to give us a call."

Hagar said part one crimes, such as arson, assault, burglaries, robberies and thefts, were down 65% in 2022 from 2014.

They can go lower, Hagar added.

"We’re not going to rest until we get it down as far as we can go," he said.

Hagar said the police department has heard from other cities, on a national level, asking how they are doing it.

"People are getting the word out, 'Hey, don’t come to Coeur d'Alene,'" he said. 'Our citizens are going to call on you. Businesses are going to call on you. And unlike laws in other states, our prosecutors, our whole legal system, takes these things seriously. It’s truly a partnership we have with our community that makes these things happen."

He said four people from the Spokane area were recently arrested in an organized shoplifting incident at a large retailer, and a secondary set of charges for related offenses were filed after reviewing the store's video footage.

According to the Coeur d'Alene Police Department website, crimes from January to November 2022 totaled 672, which is down 6.5% from 719 for the same time frame in 2021.

Other statistics reflecting falling crime:

  • Vehicle thefts were down 20% to 35 from 44.
  • Automobile burglaries were down 12%, to 101 from 115.
  • Thefts fell to 338 from 357 a decline of 5%, while aggravated assaults were down 5% to 71 from 78.

*Calls for service were down 9%, to 35,909 from 39,478.

Hagar said much of the credit for reduced criminal activity goes to patrol officers.

"They’re out in the neighborhoods, they’re doing the active patrols out there," he said. "They’re stopping and talking to the residents. I think that’s a big thing."

Mayor Jim Hammond noted crime was down while there are more people living in Coeur d'Alene. The population was about 53,000 last year, and this year, around 56,000.

"That even raises the significance of those statistics, so thank you very much for your good work," he said.

Councilman Dan Gookin agreed.

"I really appreciate the work," he said. "You guys are doing such a terrific job.”