Recent crime spike no surprise

Delaware State Police arrested a 16-year-old Millsboro teen on Monday after he allegedly broke into the Frankford home of a state trooper and stole jewelry and the trooper’s personal handgun. This is another example of a disturbing trend hitting our community over the past several months.
There has been a rash of break-ins, assaults and other criminal activity as of late, including the fatal shooting of a Georgetown police officer on Sept. 1. Area stores have also reported numerous shoplifting incidents, and police from various levels of law enforcement have sent out numerous press releases regarding scams — both on the Internet and via people cloning credit cards.
Our little safety net of a community is developing some flaws.
There are numerous philosophies on why crime has been on an upswing in the area, including the flagging economy and the stresses put on individuals to make ends meet. There probably is a bit of truth to that rationale, as we have seen several cases of embezzlement and check passing throughout the area.
There is also a very prevalent theory that the root of the area’s recent crime problem stems from illegal immigrants making their way into the area. That’s a dangerous line of thought. Have there been some instances of crimes being committed by undocumented workers? Absolutely. But there are also instances of people from all walks of lives, and nationalities, committing crimes.
It would appear to us that the rising crime stems from a few variants — not the least of which is the rising numbers in terms of sheer population.
We’ve grown over the years. This is no longer simply a community of retirees, Realtors and those in the hospitality industry. More people means more individuals to volunteer in service organizations, boost tax rolls and, yes, commit crimes.
The rise in crime is unfortunate, but somewhat expected. It’s normal growing pains, and one that every area who has seen substantial growth has had to face.
The community as a whole has benefitted greatly from our growth, in terms of services, property values and social diversity. Now we have to deal with the other side of it.