Miami Police Dept see increase in theft calls, residents concerned with uptick of crime in the area

Chief Anderson says the most calls they have been getting are regarding car break ins with people going from car to car checking to see if they are unlocked.
Miami Oklahoma

MIAMI, Okla. – Bruce Kain has only lived in the Miami, Oklahoma area for a year…but says he has noticed crimes in the area increasing each day.

With a Facebook group continually posting about thefts, and break-ins that are occurring in and around Miami.

“It’s very disheartening seeing people deal with this on a day to day basis their kids bicycles are being stolen and everybody has to lock everything down you know and looking out the window reporting to their neighbors and it’s become a topic instead of what can we do to make Miami a better community, it’s what can we do to protect our own property.”

Kain says he believes it is because of an increase in drug activity.

“I see there’s a lot of drug activity in the area which in turn is theft for the individuals that are addicted to get their next fix and unfortunately there were a few bills SB780 and 81 that raised the limits for both theft and possession to where those people are not incarcerated. So if they get caught they may get arrested but the DA cant prosecute, his hands are tied based on the law, the law was voted in by the citizens of Miami and Oklahoma, so I see that as being the problem.”

Now he is wanting to start his own neighborhood watch type group to combat the issue. As he says North Miami does not have a police presence.

“I’ve been looking into starting a neighborhood watch, there are no funds in North Miami to start one because you have to purchase signs and that sort of stuff to follow the neighborhood watch program so it’s a little disenchanting to find out there’s a lot of people that want that type of environment set up but there’s no means to do that.”

Miami Police Chief Thomas Anderson says they have recorded a 3% increase in theft calls for the year.

“That’s something we’ve been trying to combat as hard as we can, we have detectives out at night, bait cars to try and catch people, try and stop as many people as we can.”

With different factors that contribute to the increase.

“The Ottawa County jail was closed for quite some time we couldn’t do anything no one went to jail and after that the jail was closed because of COVID and when you close the jail for a couple months there was no consequences for crime, everyone got a ticket, no matter what you did you got a ticket….when people caught on that hey there’s no penalty for crime right now it got kind of out of hand” added Chief Anderson.

He said that an increase in meth in the area was also a factor.

“There is the drug problem and I think a lot of when meth went misdemeanor because we are right here in the four corners area if you get caught with meth in the four corners it’s a felony and if you’re in Miami it’s a misdemeanor so we are suffering from some of that so maybe an uptick for some of the drug crimes and that relates to all your property crimes, 85% of all property crimes are drug related.”

According to neighborhoodscout.com, the chances of being a victim of a property crime in Miami was 1 in 22.

Chief Anderson says the most calls they have been getting are regarding car break ins with people going from car to car checking to see if they are unlocked.

“We encourage everybody make sure you lock your car doors secure your vehicles don’t leave valuable possessions in your car and help us to mitigate those risks.”

He added that he encourages citizens to come together and start a neighborhood watch, saying they need the publics help to catch the criminals.

“The biggest secret in law enforcement is we depend on the public to call us and say hey this is going on. Were not everywhere, we have to have those extra eyes and ears reporting crimes and letting us know what’s going on.”

Chief Anderson asks that anyone who sees criminal activity go on, to call the Police Department.