Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Robberies by 'other' means — poison, explosives — decrease in Pasco

NEW PORT RICHEY — Robberies declined nearly 9 percent in 2012 compared with the previous year, the Pasco County Sheriff's Office said, but robberies by the usual methods of gun, knife or fist weren't the ones that really dropped.

It was robbery by pinning a victim against a wall with a wheelchair. And robbery by tire iron and flat-head screwdriver and metal pipe. Taser. Nunchakus.

The robbery subcategory of "other" decreased by 46.3 percent, according to annual crime statistics released Wednesday by the Sheriff's Office. Robbery by firearm decreased slightly, robbery by knife stayed the same and robbery by fists increased 6.3 percent. The "other" category includes all miscellaneous weapons, such as pillows to suffocate a victim, poison and explosives, said sheriff's spokeswoman Melanie Snow.

The agency's clearance rate on making arrests for robberies also increased slightly from 49.4 percent in 2011 to 51.1 percent in 2012, Snow said.

Other crimes that decreased in 2012 were the following:

• Burglaries, down 12.3 percent.

• Larceny, down 12.4 percent.

• Domestic violence, down 2.1 percent.

Murders in the Sheriff's Office's jurisdiction stayed the same, with 11 homicides each in 2011 and 2012. Aggravated assaults increased by 4.7 percent, and motor vehicle thefts increased by 4.4 percent.

Forcible sex offenses showed a dizzying increase of 312.5 percent — but the Sheriff's Office said that is only because the agency expanded the way it reports data on such offenses. Last year, the agency added 17 subcategories of sexual offenses that weren't previously included in the annual crime statistics. It used to report general lewd acts but not various lewd charges based on the age of the victim. Now all of those charges are included.

Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco credited the decrease in some crime categories to the agency's use of intelligence-led policing, which focuses on gathering and sharing data to target offenders and break criminal patterns.

Lt. Brian Prescott, head of the intelligence-led policing division, said patrol deputies no longer wait for calls. If deputies aren't responding to a situation, he said, they are knocking on doors, looking for fugitives and checking on known offenders.

He said 21 percent of burglaries, robberies and auto break-ins happen within just 2.3 percent of the sheriff's jurisdiction. And in those crimes, 52 percent of the criminals live within a mile of their victims.

Special teams target those areas to track offenders and work with the community to get residents comfortable with reporting crimes. Prescott did not want to disclose the targeted areas but said there has been progress.

Robberies by 'other' means — poison, explosives — decrease in Pasco 02/20/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 7:28pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Fred Ridley on the Road to Augusta


    Last week, I sat down with Fred Ridley, the new chairman of the Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters. Ridley, a lawyer who has resided in Tampa since 1981, was the 1975 U.S. Amateur champion and is the only Chairman to have played in the Masters. I wrote a long story on Ridley, but here are some of the …

  2. Tampa police link two shootings, tell Seminole Heights residents to avoid walking alone


    TAMPA — One was a 22-year-old African American man. The other was a 32-year-old white women.

  3. Pinellas Sheriff deputies T. Festa, left, and J. Short, righ,t arrest suspect Christopher Parsells, Pinellas Park, early Tuesday as part of a joint roundup of unlicensed contractors. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]
  4. Richard Spencer coming to town? What UF can learn from other schools


    With Richard Spencer's controversial visit to the University of Florida quickly approaching, some UF and Gainesville police officers boarded a plane bound for Berkeley.

    Thousands of people, many of them college students, gather for a vigil on the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville, Va. on Aug. 16 -- four days after a Unite the Right rally that led to clashes and the death of a woman. In advance of an appearance Thursday at the University of Florida by white nationalist Richard Spencer, the school is looking at what happened in Charlottesville and other venues where controversial speakers have visited. [Jason Lappa | The New York Times]
  5. Trigaux: On new Forbes 400 list of U.S. billionaires, 35 now call Florida their home

    Personal Finance

    The latest Forbes 400 richest people in America was unveiled Tuesday, with 35 billionaires on that list calling Florida home. That's actually down from 40 Florida billionaires listed last year when a full 10 percent listed declared they were Floridians by residence.

    Edward DeBartolo, Jr., shopping center developer and  former San Francisco 49ers Owner, posed with his bronze bust last year during the NFL Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony in Canton, Ohio. DeBartolo remains the wealthiest person in Tampa Bay according to the Forbes 400 list released Tuesday. 
[Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images]