Recently released crime statistics for 2010 show that home burglaries on Longboat Key rose 84.6% in 2010 from a year ago.
A rise in burglaries, especially in the Longbeach Village, was the primary reason Longboat Key Police Chief Al Hogle asked for and received permission in 2009 to hire an additional patrol officer and a captain at a cost of $217,000.
From May through October, six homes located north of Broadway in the Longbeach Village were burglarized.
During the entire year, 18 other homes were burglarized throughout the Key, in neighborhoods such as Emerald Harbor, Sleepy Lagoon and Country Club Shores.
The Village break-ins occurred during the daytime and at night, at both locked and unlocked residences.
But the crime data for the entire Key shows that most of the break-ins occurred during daylight hours.
Fourteen burglaries occurred during the day, and three of the burglaries occurred at night. It is unknown when seven of the burglaries occurred.
There were 24 home burglaries in 2010, compared to 13 home burglaries in 2009 and eight home burglaries in 2008.
Police Chief Al Hogle said the rise in home burglaries was unusual.
“We haven’t had any home burglaries since October,” Hogle said. “We are making all efforts to make sure it doesn’t happen again with extra patrol and visible neighborhood presence.”
But it wasn’t all bad news. Every other crime category listed in the preliminary 2010 uniform crime report data, which is submitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, decreased in 2010.
There were no aggravated assault cases in 2010, compared to two cases in 2009.
And vehicle larcenies, which were the biggest problem for the Longboat Key Police Department in 2009, decreased 64.6% in 2010.
That’s a huge turnaround from 2009 crime report statistics, which revealed that vehicle larcenies climbed from 18 reported cases in 2008 to 79 cases in 2009, for an increase of 339%.
In 2010, only 28 vehicle larcenies were reported.
“I’m very happy the department was able to reduce the number of vehicle larcenies in 2010,” Hogle said.
In total, the town saw a 30.2% decrease in crime in 2010, or 52 less crime incidents than 2009.
At its Jan. 20 regular workshop, the Town Commission will review a request by Police Chief Al Hogle to purchase a license-plate recognition system.
The system would take pictures of license plates as cars drive on and off the Key on the north and south ends of the island. The data would be sent immediately to the Florida Crime Information Center, which would notify the department if any of the images taken contained information about a stolen vehicle or a wanted person alert.
The system is expected to cost between $50,000 and $100,000.
To view a PDF map of where home burglaries occurred, click here.
To view a table displaying vehicle larcenies, click here.
To view a table displaying Longboat Key crime statistics, click here.
Contact Kurt Schultheis at email@example.com