City of Redmond releases 2016 crime overview

Overall arrests in Redmond fell last year as many categories of crime in the city also saw reduction.

The 2016 crime overview for Redmond was released last week and it shows that last year there were 994 adult arrests in the city, down from 1,083 in 2015. Juvenile arrests were slightly higher in 2016, clocking in at 83, up from 77 in 2015.

Redmond Police Department Public Information Officer James Perry said overall, the city’s crime profile remained similar to past years.

“There’s nothing that we’ve seen in 2016 that’s changed that really caused us concern,” he said.

Many categories of offenses, including simple assault, burglary, arson, fraud and stolen property, all decreased. Notably, burglary has been decreasing steadily from 244 cases in 2014 to 182 in 2016.

Despite last year’s reductions, Perry said there has been a recent wave of apartment burglaries during 2017 where thieves use tools to force open deadbolts and locks.

Thieves have been stealing cash and jewelry while leaving other commonly stolen items like expensive electronics.

Other Eastside cities like Bellevue and Kirkland have also been targeted.

“Essentially, we’re asking people to, if you see something, say something,” Perry said.

Theft was the most common crime in both 2016 and 2015 and increased between the two years.

Last year, there were around 1,700 cases of larceny theft, up from 1,539 in 2015 and 1,432 the previous year.

Many of these types of offenses are car prowls, Perry said, with property crime overall being the largest general category of offenses.

“Most all of it is related to drug addiction,” Perry said.

Drug violations have increased over the past three years, but in 2016, marijuana offenses made up 50 percent of all drug offenses while heroin’s total percentage was reduced to 26 percent of the total number of drug offenses last year. In 2015, heroin accounted for 42 percent of all drug offenses in the city.

Perry said often officers will interact with someone who may not necessarily have heroin on them, even if they use it.

“We come across people usually who are high on heroin,” he said, instead of being in possession of the drug.

Drug paraphernalia cases have also been increasing. Perry said this may be from a focus on retail theft in recent years, which many times include impounding the suspect’s vehicles and searching them, often revealing paraphernalia.

Calls for emergency and police services have also increased downtown over the past year.

“There’s more housing downtown, more people, more traffic, so our overall calls for service have increased,” Perry said.

The police department has implemented a full-time bike team to help patrol downtown and assist with calls.

Other areas of town have seen their number of calls remain essentially the same, Perry said.

Aggravated assault in the city has increased from 15 cases in 2014 to 38 in 2015 and 45 last year, while simple assault cases have steadily dropped from 163 in 2014 to 120 last year.

Overall, Perry said Redmond is a safe community for its residents.

“Our big issue is property crime, and if we can make a dent in that, we feel like we’ll be serving the citizens as best we can at the moment,” he said.