Robbery statistics on multi-year downward trend | public safety

The number of robberies in Saint-Joseph has decreased in recent years, from 59 in 2019 to 52 in 2020 and 39 last year.

But thefts remain a top concern for St. Joseph police as a potential risk to residents.

Public vigilance is the best way to maintain security, Sgt. said Roy Hoskins.

“Awareness of your surroundings is always my #1 thing,” he said. “Just be aware of what’s going on around you. Many armed robberies are targeted and they know each other. Random events happen but that’s really what I’m telling people is if you’re in the parking lot of a store or a mall or whatever, have a sense of awareness of your environment.

No one should take a chance with the potential risk of theft, and instead they should call the police if they have a problem, Hoskins said.

“If our officers come out, it turns out it’s nothing, so that’s perfectly fine,” he said. “If it’s something criminal, then we really want to be involved in it.”

Those feelings of unease could be triggered by something like a suspicious vehicle, which will often have other indicators, Hoskins said. It may not be the stereotypical white van, but one that several people can easily hide inside unnoticed could raise some red flags.

“It’s the thing that’s unmarked and may be in bad shape and kind of catches your eye,” he said. “That might not be suspicious on its own, but it might be enough to at least get your attention.”

Protection from armed robbery is the focus of this year’s Citizens’ Academy hosted by the Buchanan County Police and Sheriff’s Office from March 29 through May 24.

That’s a concern because there’s an added risk of dealing with a weapon, making it a multi-faceted crime, Hoskins said.

“That in itself is a huge concern because it’s an assault and it makes it worse when you have the weapon involved and then the theft adds another element,” he said. “It elevates crime.”

Applications for the citizens academy are available in the police department lobby and must be submitted by March 18.