Battery, burglary top north county crimes

Published: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 04:40 PM.

CRESTVIEW — Battery and burglary are the top two crimes in unincorporated areas like Laurel Hill, Baker and Holt, according to the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office, or OSCO.

In 2012, the OCSO handled 281 battery cases, up 76 from the prior year. The Crestview Police Department reported 443 counts of simple battery.

"At least 75 to 85 percent (of the battery cases) are domestic related," OCSO Lt. Tommy Frederick said.

Often, a victim may not press charges, but officers can still take the suspect into custody under Florida law, which allows the state to press charges.  

The Crestview PD reported 256 counts of petit larceny, according to police Maj. Kenneth Bundrick.

Such incidents rise from economic pressure, officials said.

"A lot of people are out of work and stressed about how they are going to pay their bills,” Frederick said, adding that mounting stress from unemployment and foreclosure threats can drive people to extreme behavior.

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