JOPLIN, MO-- Crime is up in Joplin - increases both for the month of April and year to date. Five of the ten categories of crime went up as compared to April 2011. Overall, it's 73 crimes higher - with theft related cases making a big impact. The biggest jump was in larceny, or general theft cases. That saw a 39% increase - shoplifting and residential theft account for 2/3rds of the overall total.
Joplin Police Chief Lane Roberts says it could be related to tornado recovery efforts. "That's the number most likely to be influenced by a transient population. And by transient, I'm not talking about homelessness necessarily. I'm just talking about a lot of people who've been to our community who don't normally live here."
Chief Roberts adds overall crime numbers are still 25% lower than reports five years ago.