Jul 1, 2013 6:33 PM
SAN PATRICO COUNTY - 6 News has discovered the crime rate in Aransas Pass is double the national average. The San Patricio County Jail housed 3,687 prisoners last year.
Sheriff Leroy Moody says a lot of the inmates committed crimes in Aransas Pass. The most common type of crime? Thefts and property crimes.
"One of the things that happens to Aransas Pass, Portland is Walmart stores, shoplifting is a tremendous increase at Walmart stores," says Sheriff Moody.
Also adding to the problem, people making their cars easy targets for thieves. "People will leave their cell phone laying on the seat or some item and leave the doors unlocked and leave the keys in ignition."
"They're stealing lots of them and people need to understand, they need to lock their vehicles, take their keys out, don't leave any valuables inside the car, that they can see because they're going to break the window out or get in somehow," says Sheriff Moody.
He tells us the increase in the number of crimes could be a result of several variables, including Border Patrol issues and the increase in population in both San Patricio County and the Aransas Pass area.
The spike in population is a result of more industries moving into the county. As for the immigration issues, Sheriff Moody believes that could explain the increase in car thefts as people try to move north.
He says the county works closely with the local police departments and says Aransas Pass PD work diligently to combat criminal activity but law enforcement everywhere need community cooperation.
"People need to understand that in order to reduce crime we must have to cooperation of those citizens that are aware of those situations and do not want crime in their neighborhoods. They must make reports in order to assist the police because police cannot be everywhere all the time."