Major crimes fall in 2012 in North Richland Hills

Posted Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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NORTH RICHLAND HILLS -- Major crime rates fell across the board in the city in 2012 compared with the previous year, except for the one homicide last year.

There were no homicides in 2011.

But the number of thefts, burglaries, auto thefts, aggravated assaults, robberies and rapes fell in 2012. The declines ranged from a 10.9 percent drop in auto thefts, to 82, to a 32.2 percent drop in rape cases, to 19.

Mayor Oscar Trevino praised the Police Department, staffed by 110 officers and 90 civilian personnel, during a recent City Council workshop.

"We couldn't be prouder," he said.

The city's sole homicide occurred in October when Shee Wong, 55, was shot in the head in the kitchen of the Hunan Wok on Rufe Snow Drive, police said. The suspect died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said.

Most sexual assaults in the city occur between people who know each other, often within the same home, Police Chief Jimmy Perdue said. Given that and the small number of cases in this city of 64,000, police can have only a limited impact on the rate, he said.

The largest category -- thefts -- fell 13 percent from 1,419 in 2011 to 1,234 in 2012.

That was brought down through increased police patrols and volunteer resident patrols, Perdue said. The city also has four public service officers who can handle reports of minor crimes and other duties, allowing sworn officers to spend more time traveling the streets.

Traffic enforcement also helped keep a lid on crime, he said. Reported traffic violations increased 7.8 percent to 22,272 from 2011, though that's down from 27,067 in 2010.

"We believe very strongly that good traffic enforcement leads to a reduction in crime," Perdue said. Criminals avoid areas with a visible police presence, and some traffic stops have led to the arrests of suspects in more serious crimes, he said.

The increased enforcement, however, did not result in fewer accidents.

The city reported 816 traffic accidents in 2012, compared with 809 in 2011. The number involving injuries increased dramatically from 63 in 2011 to 288 in 2012. Road construction, especially along Northeast Loop 820, was a factor, Perdue said.

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