Crimetracker - Small Town Crimes On The Rise

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

They used to be quaint, quiet towns in south central Kansas.

But after an oil boom and wind farm developed in Harper County, population within the small communities has exploded. Hundreds of people have converged on Anthony and Harper in the last year. The growth is boosting the local economy, but the boom also comes with a bust.

Kenny Hodson, Anthony Police chief, said the increased population also brings an increase in crime.

“It’s been a very busy summer,” Hodson said.

Hodson said burglary and theft crimes rose 102 percent in the last year. Disorderly conduct is up 67 percent and aggravated battery cases increased 15 percent since 2011. Officers have also arrested 50 more drivers for driving under the influence.

Most residents told KAKE news they haven’t noticed any problems. But many are taking precautions because of the new faces in town.

“You pay attention to the people around you a little bit more,” said Marty McCann, Harper County resident.

Hodson said officers are cracking down on the burglaries, but continue to battle disturbances in the bars. Five officers have been working to keep the crimes under control. The city hopes to hire an additional officer next year to help offset the workload.

Click here to view past Crime Tracker reports, or to report crime in your neighborhood.

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