Police preparing for summer boost in crime

'More people outside' one explanation for increase

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Police in Cedar Rapids can expect to get a little busier as summer approaches.

As temperatures go up, so do reports of crime, said Cedar Rapids police Lt. Cory McGarvey.

“It’s true in Cedar Rapids and it’s true across the country,” McGarvey said.

Citing just a few examples this year, McGarvey said criminal mischief reports have increased nearly 10 percent when March is compared with May. There were 71 percent more public intoxication arrests in May than in January, as well as 71 percent more thefts from vehicles in May compared to March, McGarvey said.

So, why does crime seem to go up in the summer?

“You’re talking about a lot more people outside, out and about,” McGarvey said. “You’re just talking about more people outside. People don’t want to be breaking into cars in the middle of February.”

Cedar Rapids is not the only community in the region that notes a rise in police calls during the summer months. Iowa City Police Sgt. Scott Gaarde said in Iowa City, “as the temperatures rise, crime rates tend to rise.”

Gaarde said police tend to respond to more general disturbance or nuisance calls in the summer.

Coralville Police Lt. Shane Kron said Coralville sees a little more activity during the summer, but that is offset by the departure of University of Iowa students.

“We’re pretty consistent throughout the year,” Kron said.

McGarvey said the warmer temperatures allow the department to get more officers out of their squad cars and on foot and bike patrols. In addition to that extra visibility, it also allows for more citizen interaction, McGarvey said.

“We encourage that all the way,” he said. “We encourage the citizens to get out and know the officers working their neighborhood.”

To help reduce the chances of being a crime victim, McGarvey suggests people not leave valuables in plain view in vehicles and to keep windows up and doors locked. McGarvey also said people going on vacation shouldn’t advertise on social media that they are out of town.

l Comments: (319) 398-8238; lee.hermiston@sourcemedia.net

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