Old Town incidents gone down

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Old Town criminal incidents are on track to be the lowest they have been in the past five years.

According to the Lansing Police Department, last year there were 165 reported incidents that occurred in Old Town. That is a 14 percent decrease in reported incidents from the previous year.  

As of June this year, there have been 70.

Robert Merritt, public information officer at the Lansing Police Department, said via email that these reported incidents can range from trespassing to robbery.

Preuss Pets’ owners have experienced crime first-hand.

Kirbay Preuss, manager of Preuss Pets, said that the main incidents that happen now are theft and disgruntled people.

Preuss said, even though it doesn’t happen often, they will have the neighborhood kids grab something and run.

“We find quite a few, like, small packages of things that people have stolen off the shelf and will find that in the bathroom or hidden behind a shelf,” Preuss said.

Preuss has also had disgruntled homeless people get verbally aggressive in the store before.

 

Celeste Saltzman, owner of Retail Therapy, has had the same experience with robbery.

 

Preuss said crime and incidents are worse when the weather is warmer because people are out and active.

These reported crimes have gotten better for a couple reasons.

The neighborhood has a Facebook page where they post whenever an incident has occurred and that helps notify everyone.

“Crime is the same as it is in any other business district except that the neighborhood has a network that keeps everyone up to date on what’s happening,” Summer Schriner, owner of Grace Boutique and over 15 year Old Town resident, said via email.

A couple years ago, Preuss wrote to the chief of police and got a foot-patrol officer for the neighborhood.

“We have our own dedicated police officer,” Saltzman said.

New Old Town businesses have also helped to keep it clean.

Preuss said she’s seen more businesses come to the neighborhood and sees a lot more people eager to make the community better.

She said that has helped keep crime rates down.

 

Merritt said via email that close residences and a vigilant business community has helped keep the crime rate down.

There are some ideas to help keep crime and incident rates low in the coming years.

Schriner said via email she thinks that more patrol will help to keep crime and incidents low.

Preuss said she’s even emailed the police of chief and got petitions for the mentally unstable people who have got verbally aggressive to get mental help.

The crime and incidents that occur in Old Town are fading away.

“Old Town is much like any neighborhood on its way back. It’s vibrant, and has a lot of people very dedicated to its success,” Schriner said via email. “I think Old Town has come a long way, and while we still have hiccups, things get better here all the time.”