February 25-- There was good and bad news in the annual report for 2017 from the Vidalia Police Department.
The bad news is that, when compared to 2016, robberies increased from two to seven and aggravated assaults were up from 43 to 50, however, on the plus side, the amount of overall crime decreased and armed robberies and burglaries went down, according to Vidalia Police Chief Frank Waits.
"Our major crime index is down eight percent from last year, but if you look at some of the categories, for example, homicides in 2015 we had none, in 2016 we had one and in 2017 we had one, but if you look at the rape stats, in 2015 we had one, in 2016 we had one and in 2017 we had two and those kind of skew your numbers, but overall we are down eight percent.
"In 2015 we had nine armed robberies, in 2016 we had seven and in 2017 we had four. Burglaries were down 21 from last year. It may not sound like a lot, but it's a lot for an area this size and Vidalia is a very safe place to live," he said.
Fewer juveniles were arrested for crimes last year, but there was an increase of 19 in adults arrested for a total of 578, "The investigators have a higher crime solve rate than they did last year. We're running right at 40 to 45% and the national crime solve rate is 25%. I'm very proud of the investigators and all of our people for helping to get these crimes solved," Chief Waits said.