The Naperville Police Department has released their crime statistics for 2020.
Chief Robert Marshall and his senior staff shared that there was a large increase in the number of identity theft cases in 2020 compared to 2019.
Overall, 2,905 cases were classified under theft. 2,130 of them were identity theft cases, an uptick from 490 in 2019.
Due to this large increase, the 2020 major crimes numbers show they’ve increased by 72.5%, but that doesn’t mean overall major crime has increased significantly.
“If we eliminated the increase of identity theft, we would have seen a 4% reduction in our part 1 [major] crimes compared to last year, said Russell Matson, deputy director of administrative services at the police department.
Deputy Chief of Investigations, Robert Lee, said the significant increase is related to the pandemic.
“There has been an increase in amount of financial crimes as of March 2020 and that is due to the large volume of COVID-crisis related fraud and most of that has basically involved unemployment fraud,” said Lee.
Lee recommends people shred all documents with their names, addresses, banking information, and credit card information because there are some that will look for these documents in trash cans. He also recommends keeping an eye on your credit reports and social security accounts.
Burglary to motor vehicles saw an increase from 210 cases in 2019 to 303 in 2020. Though police staff said that number is the average based on data from 2016 to 2018, which showed cases in the 300’s range.
In 2020 there were a total of 30 robberies that happened. Seven of them were related to drug transactions and three were carjackings.
Naperville police recommend people to be aware of their surroundings, don’t be looking down at your phone, keep an eye out when pumping gas, and have your key fob in hand and be ready to unlock the car.
Chief Marshall and his staff remind residents to lock up their cars and homes. In 2020, 265 out of the 303 burglaries to motor vehicles happened because cars were left unlocked. 90% of this year’s motor vehicle theft were cars with a key fob inside or vehicles left running.
“These numbers are just way too high,” said Marshall. “When our detectives arrested an individual who had a Cook County address for burglarizing some of our residences, our detectives interviewed this person and said ‘what are you doing in this subdivision off Hobson Road and your address is in Cook County?’ And the individual basically said it’s easy pickings out here. Nobody locks their doors out here. And then that information goes from one criminal to another criminal and then they come out here where they do not have to use force to enter a person’s home or steal their cars.”
Police also warn that in some cases, the garage door opener was left in the car parked on the driveway.
“People need to be aware those garage door openers they have in their cars when their cars are unlocked, that’s easy access to the garage. And then your garage access door into your home,” said Deputy Chief of Patrol, Jason Arres. “Please lock your stuff.”
Overall, Driving Under the Influence decreased by 17% compared to 2019. DUI alcohol cases were 280 in 2019 then 212 in 2020. However, DUI drug cases increased from 15 in 2019 to 34 in 2020.
Aggravated assault/battery cases have gone down from 55 in 2019 to 49 in 2020.
Overall, data shows that domestic, mental health, and drug overdose incidents have increased. The police department will be hiring a fourth social worker to help support more people.
Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.
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