The Delta County Sheriff Department has been busy this year tackling crime in the county. The sheriff says heroin use is on the rise in the south central area. Drug misuse and prescription pills are easily accessible and still popular among young people, and there are more career criminals who move from one community to the next.
Sheriff Gary Ballweg says the department has had the same number of offenses called in this year compared to last year. However, the number of arrests, mostly on traffic stops, has gone up, but why?
â??I would say that almost all the crime in Delta County as well as in the U.S. is fueled either by drug or alcohol use, abuse, or attempting to obtain the drug, or attempting to purchase the drug," explains Sheriff Ballweg.
So what else is on the rise this year? The sheriff says breaking and entering incidents are up at houses as well as camps.
This year, there were 28 reported forced entry burglaries, but houses aren't the only places susceptible. Businesses along Ludington Street have also reported crimes. Nyman Jewelers recently had over six thousand dollars worth of jewelry stolen from a display case. The owner says it's uncommon at the store.
Still, it's disheartening that it happened around the holidays.
â??You know, the only thing I would ask is that if you, as an individual, are out shopping, keep your eye out,â?? says store owner, Sue Parker. â??If you see something going on you think is a little hokie or not above the boards, say something. Say something to the person you think is doing something wrong, or a manager because it's just not right. It shouldn't happen."
The sheriff also says area unemployment combined with a lack of available counseling often fuel drug-related crimes and other offenses. Most people refuse to see they have a problem and seek treatment on their own.