A year-over-year comparison of the annual crime statistics in Mission shows a drop in most categories, including auto theft and residential burglary.
While some categories of serious crime did show increases, they were primarily categories that have low total incidents. Comparing total reports of the most serious offenses revealed a 12 percent drop while the summary of less serious offenses showed a 29 percent drop in 2014 compared to 2013.
Auto theft showed a substantial drop and burglaries to autos remained steady. Auto thefts dropped from 57 to 28 and burglaries to autos stayed at 45. Mission Police Chief Ben Hadley said it was not uncommon in the late 1990s to have more than 200 auto burglaries annually. Police have been patrolling apartment complexes to ward off auto burglaries and even leave notes on cars when they see valuables left in view on the seats or cars unlocked, Hadley said. In northeast Johnson County chiefs of police also have been warning residents to not leave cars unlocked while warming them up on winter mornings, which has been a source of many auto thefts. Hadley called auto theft a “crime of opportunity.”
Burglaries to homes and businesses also were down in 2014 with residential burglary dropping from 22 to 18. A couple of serious areas showed reporting increases, including rape, robbery and domestic violence as aggravated assault, but the reporting numbers were small. The number of rape reports went from two to five. However, Detective Dan Madden said a couple of the reports were unsubstantiated and most others involved juvenile sex offenses. In his 16 years as a Mission officer, Madden said, he does not know of an incident when a rape involved a violent attack by a stranger.
The domestic violence cases as aggravated assaults moved from 14 to 17, but domestic violence as simple assault dropped from 47 to 42. Robberies only moved from 5 to 7. Hadley said the department can’t prevent domestic violence, but can encourage people to report it.
Mission police also increased the number of cars officers stopped during the year – from 8,745 to 9,552 – but wrote fewer tickets in 2014 – 10,742 to 10,155. Hadley said the department encourages officers to stop people, but “not everyone needs a ticket.”
“Part of police work is luck and part is aggressive patrol,” Hadley said. He said police went on more than 10,000 service calls during the year.
As for accidents, Shawnee Mission Parkway and Nall reclaimed the top position in 2014 with 20 accidents while Johnson Drive and Lamar was the most accident-prone intersection in 2013. Rush hour and lunch time sees the spike in accidents.