Crimes in Oberlin fluctuate, says lieutenant

By Laurie Hamame -

Adult arrests by Oberlin police remained steady in 2017 as juvenile arrests dropped by nearly 50 percent, according to an annual report obtained this week by the News-Tribune.

Officers made 458 arrests last year, down slightly from 472 in 2016.

That mirrors a decline in calls for help to police, which totaled just 17,549 last year compared to 18,478 the prior year.

Traffic misdemeanors topped the chart among adults, where there was a small bump for driving under the influence. Among minors, disorderly conduct, larceny, and breaking curfew all decreased. Unruliness incidents saw the largest drop, prompting 21 arrest in 2017 as opposed to 44 in 2016.

The numbers are always fluctuating, said police Lt. Mike McCloskey, and crime is generally under-reported.

Drug offenses overall decreased to 33. The two biggest drug offenses logged by police in 2017 were possession of drug paraphernalia (19 charges) and marijuana (20).

Oberlin police made 1,333 traffic stops last year, resulting in 235 citations, with 955 verbal and 143 writing warnings being given to motorists.

Officers wrote 323 fewer parking citations, totaling $9,805.

Det. Jessica Beyer was able to close several cases this past year:

• A suspect was identified in a 2015 homicide. A grand jury issued indictments for aggravated murder, murder, felonious assault, tampering with evidence, and theft.

• Officers responded to a structure fire and received information regarding a marijuana grow operation inside the building. A search warrant was obtained and several items of evidence were seized. A suspect was identified and later charged in Oberlin Municipal Court.

• A local business reported an order had been placed using a stolen credit card. The investigation revealed that the order was place online in Georgia and that the juvenile receiving the order was also a victim as part of an Internet scam.

In 625 incident reports, the police department reported the use of force 14 times. Of those 14 reports, 13 were physical force and one was a firearm display.

In 2016, there were also 14 reports of the use of force.

Laurie Hamame can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @HamameNew on Twitter.

By Laurie Hamame