The result of a post-Sept. 11 economy in Columbia County has been a crime, says sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris.
"The economy changed quite a bit in the last quarter (of 2001)," he said. "And as a result, we saw a spike in some crimes."
The trend was noticed recently when crime stats for last year showed that burglaries rose dramatically in the fourth quarter. Of last year's 260 burglaries - an increase of 19 from 2000 - 81 occurred in the final quarter.
That's about a 30 percent increase from 2000's fourth quarter figure, said Morris. It also was a rise of 26 burglaries from last year's third quarter.
"Leading into the fourth quarter, we were down in burglaries," Morris said. "But in the end, we were actually year-end up 7.9 percent. It was a rough quarter."
The reason why, Morris said, is simple.
"A good economy is a lower unemployment rate," he said. "People have the money, and they're less likely to get out and commit crimes."
So far, the trend seems to have continued into the new year, too, said Morris. From Jan. 23-25 alone, six home burglaries were reported in the county.
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