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City Robberies, Kidnappings Solved
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Not all the news regarding crime statistics for the 'City of Action' is bad, according to Police Chief Bill Pooley.

Moving on from discussion of street gangs (see related story) at the July 25 Riverbank City Council meeting, told council members about other criminal incidents and commented the trends, as shown in numerical comparisons between the first six months of last year and this, "are all over the place."

In 2011 robberies, two documented Norteno gang members "jumped" a citizen, beat him and stole his cell phone. The Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) team from Modesto assisted in serving a search warrant and both suspects were arrested without incident.

In kidnapping, there were two incidents involving young women held in vehicles by their boyfriends in which the women were returned home safely after police contacts reaching as far as Los Angeles and Georgia where the men were arrested.

In traffic statistics, the local police held five driving under the influence (DUI) checkpoints, screened about 3,000 vehicles and made 17 arrests.

"But the real benefit was improving public relations with the bulk of drivers," said Pooley. "They were glad to see us out there taking the drunks off the road and thanked us for it."

Pooley noted DUIs are down, DUI-involved crashes fell from eight to two, and injury accidents are down.

Looking at auto theft, he noted they spiked last January and February when 13 vehicles were stolen. But local detectives and patrol officers along with Modesto headquarters helped identify three suspects, linked them to about 10 stolen vehicles and closed the case with the arrest of all three suspects.

As for burglaries, detectives and patrol officers again linked three suspects to four residential and seven auto burglaries, made the arrests and returned the stolen property stolen to its rightful owners.

Most thefts and burglaries are the result of narcotic addicts supporting the habit, Pooley noted. Riverbank officers conducted seven undercover operations, targeting street level dealers and arrested 23 of them, "something to my knowledge that has not been done in recent history," he added.

In comparative crime statistics between January to June of 2010 and the same period during 2011, there were zero homicides, robberies rose from six to 10 for a 67 percent increase; felony assault climbed from 41 to 67 (up 63 percent); rape rose from one to two (up 100 percent); burglary climbed from 126 to 139 (up 10 percent); larceny dropped from 185 to 138 (down 25 percent); auto theft sank from 47 to 44 (down six percent); family offenses rose from 56 to 63 (up 13 percent); DUI decreased from 39 to 17 (down 56 percent); traffic collisions sank from 55 to 49 (down 11 percent); and injury traffic collisions dropped from 26 to 19 (down 27 percent).