Stolen cars, thefts and similar crimes have shot up in Rutland City

Dan Smith

The Rutland City Poilice Department on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger

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Rutland City Police Department on Wednesday, December 1, 2021. File photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger

According to Rutland City Police data, property crime in Rutland will increase dramatically in 2022 compared to recent years.

Data updated earlier this month showed 305 vehicle theft reports this year, a 400% increase from the average of 76 over the past five years. Vehicle theft reports (71 vs. 18 on average), building thefts (161 to 42) and retail thefts (343 to 110) are all at least three times higher than their five-year averages . City of Rutland Crime/Data Analyst Nathan Thibodeau said the department's record-keeping software categorizes some cases differently than previous providers, so the year-over-year comparisons show small discrepancies. He said it is likely to occur. Rutland City Police Commissioner Sean Sargent said: ``These are unbelievable numbers that are frustrating for everyone here in Rutland. However, the causes and solutions, particularly related to property crime, remain controversial. Some citizens responded by taking matters into their own hands. Sargent, on the other hand, states that a defendant can be held without bail only if he is deemed a fugitive risk, is charged with a crime punishable by life imprisonment, or has committed a violent crime. He argued that the problem was that the police "cannot contain anyone" because they could be detained. Felony—None of which is often applied to property crimes. According to data provided by the Rutland City Police Department, approximately one-third of retail burglary suspects have committed multiple thefts. Robert Sand, a former Windsor County attorney and founding director of the Center for Judicial Reform at the Vermont Law and Graduate School, disputed the idea that bail reform was responsible for the rise in crime. “When you lock people up, they are more likely to reoffend,” he said. "Prison and imprisonment are generally not rehabilitation experiences. That includes pretrial detention." Research on the relationship between imprisonment and recidivism is mixed. Some have suggested that incarceration could lead to increased crime. Others suggest that long sentences deter crime, while short sentences have no effect on future crimes. Data compiled by the Rutland City Police also show a link between drug use and crime in the city. According to Rutland City Police, 75% of suspected retail thieves are known drug users. Its assessment, called "drug nexus," is if a person admits to using drugs, has been previously found in the presence of drugs, or has been convicted of a drug-related offense. Mr. Thibodeau said it would take place on So-called “known users” make up 64% of suspected car thefts and 100% of suspected robberies. Tracy Hawke, executive director of Rutland's Turning Point Center, works with people with drug use disorders and acknowledges the role drug users play in urban crime. "Many of the individuals who commit crimes are individuals with known substance use disorders (many of whom we know through work at our center)," she said in an email. "Many of them commit theft to support drug use." More affordable temporary housing, longer rehab stays, and increased mental health resources should all be priorities, Hauck said. Overdose is on the rise alongside crime. As of December 8, Rutland City Police have responded to his 100 overdoses, 12 of which have been confirmed to be fatal overdoses. By comparison, Rutland City Police have responded to 80 overdoses so far in 2020, more than he has in any year since at least 2017. Pat Hunter is co-chairing the Community Policing Board as part of the project vision. Project Vision is a coalition of organizations, governments, businesses and individuals she formed in 2013 with the aim of building a better future for Rutland. The commission and the Rutland City Police have worked to address the root causes of increasing crime in the city of Rutland, such as opioid use due to drug use disorder, she said, answering non-criminal calls and connecting residents. Pointed out the job of the city's new Community Support Specialist. To social services as an example of progress. “(Social) services can be difficult to navigate,” says Hunter. "It's useful to tailor it to help someone take different steps."

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