Serious Crime Up In Lexington

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It's a sign of the times. For weeks we've reported on increased thefts and break-ins in the Lexington area and now we have numbers that point to the crime spike.

The Fayette County Commonwealth's Attorney's office calls the numbers very concerning. For the first two weeks of last month, serious crimes were up nearly 27 percent, including 51 more reports of burglary from the same time period last year.

On Wednesday, police made an arrest in a string of burglaries in the Garden Springs Neighborhood, but it's happening across the city and it's happening more often.

In the first two weeks of September of last year, there were 77 burglaries reported. In the same time period this year there were 128 burglaries, an increase of 66 percent.

"This is no surprise to me," said Ray Larson, Fayette County Commonwealth's Attorney.

Larson says the spike in serious crimes across Lexington is a major concern to him and his office.

Why are more people and their homes becoming targets? Larson says it could be for a number of reasons, but he points to one in particular.

"I'm just very concerned about the rush to release prisoners," Larson said.

Larson believes it's no coincidence crime is up during the same time more inmates are being released early from prison and going back on the streets.

"If you're going to put the people who are prolific criminals back on the street, now what do you expect?" Larson went on to say.

The program's design is set to save the state millions of dollars, however, Larson says the safety of the people of Kentucky is worth much more.

"By letting the five percent out ,you're passing the cost of crime from the state budget to the backs of new innocent victims of crime," Larson said.

Not only were burglaries and assaults up for the beginning of last month, but so were robberies, car break-ins and car thefts. Numbers that Larson say should have people being more alert and aware of their surroundings.

A judge says he will rule next week on whether the early release program is legal.

The attorney general's office says the department of corrections is illegally making the bill retroactive.

The Franklin circuit judge said today he wants more time and more information before deciding whether to block the program.

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