Kozak: Auto Thefts Doubled In Laramie County After Policy Change
Laramie County Sheriff candidate Brian Kozak says the auto theft rate in Laramie County doubled after the Laramie County jail changed its booking policy for property crimes.
A news release from the Kozak for Sheriff campaign includes the following comments:
''In March of 2020 the Laramie County Jail implemented Covid policies, which restricted local officers from arresting offenders for drug/methamphetamine and property crime, even if a judge had ordered an arrest. This policy has been in effect for over 18 months; it has caused a situation where hundreds of offenders have outstanding warrants and are aware they will not be arrested. No other jail in Wyoming has instituted this lasting restriction.''
The release goes on to cite Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation [DCI] statistics showing Cheyenne had 242 stolen cars between January and August of 2021, which would work out to 558 car thefts per 100,000 people if crime continued to be committed at the same rate through all of 2021. The release says the rate is twice that for Cheyenne in 2019.
The release goes on to say:
''The rate is much higher than the largest cities in America, such as, Chicago, LA, Phoenix, Philadelphia, and San Diego (City-Data).
The Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigations released the stolen vehicle numbers for the Laramie County Sheriff’s Office. The Sheriff reported 56 stolen cars January-August 2021, which is 124% increase for the same period in 2020 (LCSO, 2021).
An evaluation of crime data did not reveal any other county with as stark property crime increases as Laramie County. The jail has not restricted bookings for violent crime; data shows a decline in violent crime.
Arrest data obtained from the Cheyenne Police Department indicate the agency made 1,683 arrests in 2019 between January and September; it only made 731 arrests for the same time in 2021, and 100 of those arrests were transported to the Platte County Jail since our local jail would not accept the offenders. ''
The release also included the following graph:
One of Kozak's rivals in the 2022 GOP Laramie County Sheriff's primary election is Lt. Don Hollingshead, who is the Detention Captain. Patrick Long and James Barth are also running for sheriff.