“We know it was a politically-charged year this (past) fall in the election campaign season,” Hill said. “We historically have never experienced reported thefts of yard signs the way we’ve experienced this past fall.”
Many of the thefts happened in August. Oakwood officials said they received reports of yard sign and flag thefts from 20 homes, including signs for then-Democrat Party presidential nominee Joe Biden, Black Lives Matter and flags in support of the LGBTQ community.
Five juveniles ages 14-17 were charged with multiple offenses and the majority of the thefts were cleared by arrests, Hill said.
More than 60% of all crimes reported last year were cleared in the upscale, largely residential Dayton suburb with a population of about 9,200, records show.
No violent crimes were reported in Oakwood in 2020. Those offenses include murder, non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery and aggravated assault, according to the FBI’s website.
“Historically, Oakwood has been one of the safest, if not the safest, community in the region with very few incidents of violent crime,” Hill said in an email.
The city’s last homicide was in 1985 while the most recent robbery and rape were reported in 2018 and 2013, respectively, he added.
The city had 13 vehicles reported stolen last year, 11 more than in 2019, records show. All automobiles in the 2020 cases were recovered after having been taken while unlocked with keys inside, Hill said.
Meanwhile, traffic citations dropped to 1,554 last year after a four-year period of at least 2,560 being given annually, according to records.
Hill said a key factor in the decrease was “limited self-initiated traffic enforcement” throughout the region in March, April and May after shutdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Comparing 2019 to last year, OVIs in Oakwood went from 13 to 7, accidents from 124 to 98 and injuries from 12 to 10, records show.
Oakwood Part I crimes as classified by the FBI include the following in the past two years:
Crime 2019 2020
Criminal homicide 0 0
Attempted murder 0 0
Rape 0 0
Robbery 0 0
Aggravated assault 0 0
Burglary 0 6
Larceny 59 91
Auto thefts 2 13
TOTALS 62 110
SOURCE: Oakwood Safety Department.