Orange County crime is down 16 percent
The annual Uniform Crime Report Statistics have been released from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and the overall crime rate in Orange County has dropped 16 percent in 2012 compared to 2011. There were 1,202 cases in 2011 while the number decreased to 1,006 in 2012.
Of the 1,202 cases, investigators were able to clear 51 percent with a total of 577 in 2011 while in 2012 they cleared 50 percent of the 494 total.
However, the crime of murder actually went higher. There were zero murders reported in Orange County for 2011 while three murders were investigated in 2012.
Curtis Allen Garrison, remains in custody on murder charges for the deaths of Aaron Conn, 34, and Summer Conn, 30, of Vidor. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office received a report of gunshots on Friday, Nov. 23, 2012, in the 5600 block of Woodside Drive in Vidor.
Investigators arrived on scene to discover the victims deceased. Both of the victims appeared to have sustained gunshot wounds.Garrison was located at his parent’s residence in Mauriceville area and was detained without incident.
A few days later there was a report of another murder in Orange County. Julia Rhoton Andrews, 58, of Vidor, is accused of murdering 42-year-old Randy Peddy on November 30. The OCSO received a phone call about gunshots and responded to the area.
When deputies arrived on the scene, they located Peddy lying lifeless in the yard of the residence. Emergency medical personnel with Acadian Ambulance and the Vidor Fire Department determined Peddy was deceased.
Andrews was brought in for questioning where she was interviewed by investigators concerning the shooting. Andrews stated she and Peddy had gotten into a verbal and physical altercation. She confessed to shooting and killing Peddy. Andrews was then arrested for murder and was booked into the Orange County Correctional Facility where she remains in custody.
“Homicide is one of those crimes we cannot prevent since it is often a crime of passion, but we do what we can to solve them as soon as possible,” said Chad Hogan of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.
In addition, there was one case of manslaughter by negligence in 2012 compared to zero cases in 2011.
The number of forcible rape cases doubled in 2012 with 12 cases in 2012 and six cases in 2011. Investigators were able to clear nine of the cases in 2012.
Robbery cases decreased by 80 percent in 2012 with 3 cases compared to 15 cases in 2011 which included robbery cases involving firearms, with a dangerous weapons and strong-arm robberies.
The number of assaults also dropped. In 2011 there were 368 actual cases while in 2012 there were 351 which is a 4.6 percent drop.
In addition, there was a 33 percent drop in larceny thefts with 472 cases in 2011 and 312 in 2012. The definition of larceny is the unauthorized taking and removal of the personal property of another by an individual who intends to permanently deprive the owner of it; a crime against the right of possession. Larceny generally refers to nonviolent theft, according to The Legal Dictionary.
While the number of larceny theft cases decreased, the number of motor vehicle theft cases in Orange County increased 27 percent from 61 cases to 78 cases.
According to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, pickup trucks are the most stolen vehicles for thieves. Ford pickup trucks are the most commonly stolen followed by Chevrolet pickup trucks. Coming in third are Honda cars with Dodge pickup trucks are in fourth place. To finish the top five Chevrolet cars are sought after too.
The value of the stolen property also showed a significant drop. According to reports, there was a valued amount of more than $2 million worth of stolen goods in 2011 while the amount decreased 17 percent and was down to $1.6 million in 2012. However, the valued amount recovered stayed nearly the same with $382,162 in 2011 and $378,111.
“The sheriff is committed to making sure Orange County is a safe place to live, “Hogan said. “We have investigators that do a great job to clear as many cases as possible and the patrol officers are doing what they can in the neighborhoods.”