Crime drops in Oakwood for 2021; hit-and-runs way up

Credit: FILE

Credit: FILE

Major crimes in Oakwood dropped last year, but police saw a sharp increase in hit-and-run accidents.

Reported high-level crimes that include rape, robbery, aggravated assault and arson decreased by more than 20% combined when compared to 2020, city records show.

Yet Oakwood — which has about 9,500 residents — saw a 75% jump in hit-and-runs last year compared to the previous one, driving up the number of accidents reported in the city to the highest total since 2017, Safety Director Alan Hill said.

After a three-year average of 32 a year, the number of accidents where drivers fled totaled 56 in 2021, with a large chunk occurring in neighborhoods in one section of the city, Hill told Oakwood City Council recently.

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“Many of them are on the east side of the community on the narrow streets where somebody’s driving by and they take off a side-view mirror,” he said.

“Sometimes the driver is aware of it, but many times they’re not,” Hill added. “They think they hear something, but they don’t know if they popped their tire on a curb or they hit the curb — and they keep driving.

“We experience very few hit-and-run crashes out on our (main) roadways where somebody’s involved in an accident and they take off,” he said.

Hill said police have responded to some DUI-related hit-and-runs, “but the large majority” last year were “very, very minor property damage” reports.

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The sizable jump in those crimes had a “direct result” in the number of traffic accidents in Oakwood rising to 151 last year, the highest number since 182 were recorded four years prior, Hill said.

Meanwhile, major crimes reported in the city last year dipped to 110, 31 fewer than a year before, according to records. That includes those classified by the FBI as Part I offenses, among them criminal homicide, attempted murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault.

No cases of those five crimes were recorded at all in 2021, Oakwood records show, one of the reasons Mayor Bill Duncan called the city “the safest community in the region.”

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Part I offenses dropped to 85 in Oakwood in 2021. They had been below 100 from 2017-19, before jumping to 110 in 2020, according to city records.

Two burglaries were reported last year in Oakwood, which has about 3,800 residences.

“I think that’s an unbelievable number for a community like ours,” Hill said.

Oakwood Part 1 crimes
Type of crime20202021
Criminal homicide00
Attempted murder00
Aggravated assault00
Auto thefts132
Source: City of Oakwood

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