Cheney police kept busy last year, according to the department’s year-end report.
The report shows service calls were up nearly 49 percent in 1997, compared with figures from the previous year. Officers responded to 6,651 calls in 1997.
“There’s no wave of crime, really,” said Cheney Police Chief Jerry Gardner. “It’s just a normal cycle.
“I attribute it to more people moving into and around Cheney,”
While the number of calls for service increased, the city didn’t see a large increase in crime. Officers made 391 arrests in 1997, about the same number as the year before.
That broke down to 267 adult arrests and 124 juvenile arrests, the report showed.
The vast majority of written police reports - 204 - dealt with theft. Gardner said that came as no surprise.
“It’s probably because of the age group of our clientele,” he said. “We’re talking pre-high school through college. If it’s not nailed down, it’s likely to disappear.”
Gardner said people between the ages of 14 and 24 were most likely to be responsible for thefts.
“That pretty much matches the national average,” he said.
About $217,000 worth of property was stolen. Less than half of that - valued at $98,000 - was recovered, according to the report.
Car theft and theft of property from cars proved to be the most significant percentage of thefts.
Gardner said while the report was nothing to worry about, Cheney residents could help those numbers take a nose dive.
“A lot of old-timers remember Cheney as a literally crime-free town,” he said. “I constantly see cars with keys dangling in the ignition.
“People should just take precautions.”