ISP report: Crime down in Moscow, Latah County

Police chief attributes decrease to community partnerships, proactive officers.

Crime was down significantly in 2015 throughout Moscow and Latah County, even with a triple-murder on the books, according to the Idaho State Police’s recently released annual agency crime report.

The report, which documents criminal offenses reported and cleared, along with arrests of juveniles and adults in 2015, showed a 24.9 percent decrease in all reported crimes and a 40 percent decrease in arrests from 2014 in Moscow.

Crime was down overall, but the year will always be remembered for the Jan. 10, 2015, murders of Terri Grzebielski, 61; David M. Trail, 76; and Belinda G. Niebuhr, 47, perpetrated by John Lee, who is currently serving a life sentence for the murders.

Other violent crimes reported in Moscow included 81 simple assaults, defined as a threat or attempt to do bodily violence, and 11 aggravated assaults, defined as assault with a deadly weapon or force to commit great bodily harm. Reports of larceny, the theft of personal property, topped the list with 469 incidents reported. It was followed by 150 instances of vandalism, 84 drug-related offences, 65 burglaries and 40 reports of fraud.

Crimes less prevalent in the city included robberies, car thefts, cases of embezzlement and weapon law violations, of which there were two reports each, and extortion or blackmail and pornography, with one report each.

According to the ISP’s report and Tanea Parmenter, an ISP auditing and training specialist, not a single sexual crime was reported to the MPD in 2015.

Kidnapping, prostitution, manslaughter, gambling, intimidation and bribery were also on the list of zero crimes reported.

The Latah County Sheriff’s Office reported a 7.7 percent decrease in crimes and a decrease in arrests of less than 1 percent.

Latah County offenses topping the list included 93 reports of theft of personal property, 86 simple assaults and 69 cases of vandalism.

Other violent crimes included two rapes, 10 aggravated assaults and five forcible sexual assaults.

Nonviolent crimes included four reports of pornography, 68 drug offences, 51 burglaries and nine car thefts.

Forty-four reports of fraud and three reports of forgery or counterfeiting were also included in the Latah County Sheriff’s Office report.

Common offenses countywide – including Moscow – included 74 liquor law violations and 85 arrests for driving under the influence.

During the past five years reported offenses have dropped fairly steady, other than a spike of less than 20 reports in 2013. There were 1,422 reported offenses in 2011 and 928 in 2015. Arrests are also down, overall, with 806 arrests reported five years ago and 405 in 2015.

Via the Moscow-Pullman Daily News