EL RENO, Okla. - With increasing signs of an economic downturn, El Reno law enforcement said it may have contributed to a rise in crime in their town.
El Reno Police said more and more thieves are stealing cell phones, radios and even change from a car just to gain a few bucks to put food on the table or buy gas.
With soaring food and fuel prices Lt. Van Gillock with El Reno Police said most of these crimes are crimes of opportunity.
"When things are left in vehicles, purses, phones, even just change, anything where they can get a few bucks for more gas," Gillock said.
Burglaries have also bumped up in the last year, both residential and auto.
In a three-month period from May to July in 2008 there were 43 more property crimes than the previous year. Larceny, such as shoplifting and petty theft, has slightly increased, but violent crimes have dropped in El Reno. Police said they can pick up their patrol but their presence will only curb the crimes.
"I think as long as the economy is bad we'll continue to see this stay at a high level," Gillock said.
Police said most of these crimes are often committed by the same people, only they're stealing more because it takes more money to get by.
Police said they are patrolling and watching over targeted areas to get a handle on the crimes.