MPD busy with theft, burglary investigations

Staff report

     Monticello Police Chief Britt Smith released the Monticello Police Department report for the month of October.

     Total calls for service: 218

     Traffic stops: 64

     Citations: 21

     Parking citations: 1

     Arrests: 5 (two arrests, one simple assault, one third degree burglary, and one criminal mischief/assault with dangerous weapon/1st degree harassment)

     Accidents investigated: 1

     EMS assists: 13

     Nuisance warnings: 3

     Use of force: 0

     Smith shared that the MPD will soon be taking part in a new jail diversion program, designed to reduce incarceration for non-violent offenders who are found to be under the influence of synthetic substances such as methamphetamine or heroin. He explained that when an offender commits a crime such as trespassing, disorderly conduct, or public intoxication, and law enforcement responds and finds the person to be under the influence of a synthetic drug, the officer will now have the ability to conduct a substance abuse referral for the offender in leu of arresting him/her.

     If the offender is willing, they will then proceed through an eight-week out-patient substance abuse program that is designed to target the root of the offender’s problems and not the effects from the substance abuse. The program is intended to have a positive impact on the connection between substance abuse and criminal activity. Smith noted that not all criminal activity is eligible for diversion.

     “Any criminal activity with an identifiable victim or monetary damages will not be eligible for diversion,” he said.

     In addition, the MPD has seen a significant increase in motor vehicle thefts and property burglaries through late October and into November.

     A four-wheeler was stolen from a carport in the Pinehaven neighborhood. Through the MPD’s investigative efforts, it was located and recovered in a garage on the Monti View Trailer Park. An individual was arrested in connection with the theft.

     Three motor vehicles were stolen: one from Freedom Auto, one from a residence on W. Fifth Street, and one just south of the airport. The vehicle stolen from Freedom Auto was recovered and charges are pending as a result of a more extensive theft ring out of Iowa City. The two remaining vehicle thefts are still under investigation.

     There are have been numerous garage/vehicle burglaries. Through their investigations, the MPD determined that most of these thefts are unrelated to the vehicle thefts. Suspects have been identified in several of these cases and charges are pending.


Subscriber Login