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Emmitsburg had 53 percent jump
 in crime last year

(8/1) Serious crime in Emmitsburg increased more than 50 percent last year, according to a state report.

The Crime in Maryland: 2006 Uniform Crime Report is an annual report that looks at crime in Maryland at a state, county and municipal level. Serious crime is considered as murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, breaking or entering, larceny theft and motor vehicle theft.

According to the report, Emmitsburg's crime rate increased 53 percent between 2005 and 2006 or 44 incidents up from 29.

"Crime throughout the county was up 12 percent," said Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins. "Emmitsburg is not unique in that, but of course we don't like to see an increase."

The majority of the serious crime in Emmitsburg is in two areas: Breaking or entering and larceny theft. Those two crimes account for 37 of the 44 incidents in Emmitsburg.

"The main problem we had last year was breaking and entering," said Mayor James Hoover. "We had a spurt of them there for several months with a group of repeated offenses against businesses and homes."

Jenkins agreed and added that the offenders had been caught so he believes when the 2007 numbers come out, they should show a decrease.

"I've tried to focus on making the deputies more visible," Jenkins said. "I want them in the residential areas out on the street interacting with people because as that visibility increases, you're going to have less crime."

Hoover said growth in and around the town has brought more people into the area so it shouldn't be surprising if crime increases.

"I think it will go down, but I don't think it will go back down to the previous year," Hoover said.

Jenkins said that despite the large percentage increase in crime, the actual number of serious crimes in town is still low. In such a situation even an increase of one incident will have a significant increase in the percentage figures.

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