(KMOV) – Alton police say while crime overall is down, motor vehicle thefts have significantly risen over the past two years.
Authorities say from 2013 compared to 2012, overall crime in Alton decreased three percent, though arrested have gone up 6 percent.
But over that same period, vehicle theft went up almost 20 percent. Alton police say the disturbing trend will be a major focus over the next year.
Part of the approach to continue decreasing crime, police say, is connecting with the community. “Amnesty Day”, a day where citizens get a chance to take care of misdemeanor arrest warrants without going to jail, is one approach.
Officer Emily Hejna says that does a lot to foster relationships between citizens and police to cut down on crime.
“The detectives are developing leads and following them through—they always have been but we have more people cooperating with us,” Officer Emily Hejna said. “A few years ago we had a culture in our community of no snitching. And while that does still exist, it seems to be getting better.”
Police say a vital connection to St. Louis County, the Clark Bridge, happens to be a pipeline for criminals and drugs. They say most of the heroin they find in Alton travels over that bridge from St. Louis city and county.