Report shows last year’s crimes in Katy
In 2016, theft by far led crime in the 11-square-mile city of Katy, while homicides barely existed.
Data gathered from the city’s 2016 Uniform Crime Report - a document that public entities give to the Federal Bureau of Investigation - displays the types of criminal offenses reported by the city last year.
The breakdown of offenses reported are:
Larceny-theft: 571 cases
Assault: 295 cases
Burglary: 92 cases
Motor vehicle theft: 69 cases
Rape: 19 cases
Robbery: 18 cases
Criminal homicide: 1 case
The report does not list convictions of crimes but rather allegedly committed crimes.
Katy Assistant Police Chief Tim Tyler, who has worked at the Katy Police Department for about 25 years, answered questions from the Houston Chronicle regarding the city’s 2016 UCR report.
Question: The highest crime reported on the city’s UCR report is non-auto theft. Why is that the biggest crime? And what is the police department doing to combat it?
Answer: There’s a lot factors. It’s a crime of opportunity. If someone leaves something laying out, somebody is going to pick it up. Shoplifting is also considered a theft.
The only thing we can do as far as law enforcement is to make our presence known. We want to make sure people keep their items secured. Most theft is going to be in retail (shops).
Q: There were 19 rapes reported in the city’s UCR report, which is a notable amount given the relatively small size of the city. Rape is a sensitive crime that can be tricky to address. How does your police department look into it?
A: When somebody comes in to report that crime, we do a very detailed investigation into it. It’s a hard crime to defend against as far as law enforcement because most times, it happens inside a residence or hotel room where we don’t have access. It’s mainly up to individuals to not be alone and to be aware of their surroundings.
The first thing we do is for the people that come in, they need to go to the hospital and get a sexual assault case completed. If possible, we go to the crime scene and secure any evidence: Clothing, bed sheets – any evidence. It’s an investigation that takes awhile. It’s different than other crimes in that you’re dealing with many human emotions, and a lot of times the victim in that feels like it might be their fault, or that they could have done something different. You have to treat them a little different because they’ve been through a traumatic experience.
Q: Studies show that rape is underreported throughout the U.S. because it’s a crime that is very personal to people. Does your department do anything to encourage rape victims to report what happened to them?
A: There are a lot of programs out there that do that. Katy Christian Ministries is really good about talking to woman about that, as well as church groups.
Q: How has crime in the city changed during your 25 years with the department?
A: The population has increased, so you’re going to have more crime that goes with that. The technology definitely has improved. You have the cameras in cars and body cameras, and you have computers in the vehicles. A lot of that stuff helps our investigations. A radio and a flashlight is all we had when I started.
Q: There was only one homicide reported inside the city last year. Why do you think that number is so low?
A: We have a very good community here with our citizens. And we proactively patrol – that helps keep some of the criminal element down. It’s a more family-oriented community. We also don’t have the bars and entertainment facilities that a lot of bigger cities have, so that may contribute to a low percentage of homicides.
Q: What is the most important aspect of combating crime in the city?
A: It’s being visible. It’s having a community know that they can reach out to you and talk to you, so if they see something that’s special, they know they can call us up. They have more eyes than we do. We still have a lot of support here in town with the citizens of Katy. We are open to their concerns, and we sit there and listen to them and do everything in our means to address what we can.