Pound Ridge Sees Spike In DWIs, Domestic Incidents

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Pound Ridge Police Chief David Ryan says the economy may play a role in the increase in DWIs and domestic incidents in town last year. Photo Credit: Bob Dumas

POUND RIDGE, N.Y. – While the number of property crimes has remained relatively constant in Pound Ridge over the past several years, the number of DWI arrests and domestic incidents has increased dramatically, according to police.

“We saw a significant number of DWI arrests last year,” Pound Ridge Police Chief David Ryan said. “It went from seven in 2011 to 47 in 2012.”

Ryan said the spike was likely due to an increase in awareness and training for Pound Ridge police officers, but added that the struggling economy probably played a role as well.

“People are using alcohol more as a way to relieve the stress,” he said.

In 2011, Pound Ridge police reported 41 domestic incidents or family disturbances. That number jumped to 99 in 2012.

“That includes everything from verbal arguments to physical assault and child abuse,” Ryan said, noting that financial strain could again be a factor in the increase.

“You have people losing their jobs and struggling,” he said.

Ryan added that there was also a 460 percent jump in the number of orders of protection served last year.

“We had eight in 2011 and 45 in 2012,” he said.

Property crimes, which include things such as burglary and larceny, have remained somewhat flat. According to data compiled by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Statistics, Pound Ridge saw 45 such crimes in 2007; 37 in 2008 and 42 in 2009. However, that number jumped to 97 in 2010. But Ryan said there was a reason for that.

“We had a situation where a mail carrier was committing a significant number of larcenies,” he said. “A postal worker named Tensy May Smith was stealing mail with gift cards, credit cards, money and Neftlix CDs. There were 79 larcenies tied to her. So if you take her out of the equation for 2010, there were actually about 18. It was almost a significant drop. It was not a bunch of different bad guys committing crimes.”

In 2011, the number of reported property crimes dropped to 11, but rose to 66 in 2012.

“There are really no trends – everything is economically driven,” Ryan said. “We’ve already had four burglaries in January.”

Ryan said that in one recent burglary, the thieves made off with jewelry only while leaving behind a bunch of electronics, such as iPads and smart phones.

“Gold value is high right now and it’s easy to get rid of; you can just send it in the mail,” he said. “It’s very hard to track that information. But with electronics, you can track those devices and find out where they are."

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