Newspaper Archive of
Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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February 17, 2016     Hays Free Press
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February 17, 2016
 

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+ Page 2A NEWS Hays Free Press • February 17, 2016 The Hays Free Press (ISSN 1087-9323) published weekly by Barton Publications, Inc., 122 N. Main St., Buda, TX 78610. Periodicals postage paid at Buda, "IX 78610 and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Barton Publications, Inc., P.O. Box 339, Buda, "IX 78610. ISSN#1087-9323 NEWS TIPS If you think it's news, we probably do too! • Newsroom phone: 5f2268-7862 • E-mail: news@haysfreepress. com • Mail: 113 W. Center Street, Kyle, TX 78640 CORRECTIONS Any erroneous reflection upon the character, standing or reputation of any person, firm or corporation which may appear in the pages of the Hays Free Press will be corrected upon being brought to the attention of the publisher. DEADLINES • The deadline for display advertising and any contributed news copy in the Hays Free Press is 5 p.m. Friday the week prior to publication. • The deadline for Letters to the Editor and classified word advertising in the Hays Free Press is noon Monday the week of publication, though we encourage readers and advertisers to observe the Friday deadline. LETi'ERS GUIDELINES We welcome locally written letters to the editor on timely topics of community interest. We ask that you keep them to about 350 words in length and that you not indulge in personal attacks on private individuals. Letters may be edited for brevity and clarity. All letters should be signed by the author and include a daytime phone number where the author can be contacted for verification. Letter writers are limited to one letter per month. Letters can be emailed to csb@ haysfreepress.com. HISTORY Founded April 10, 1903, by Thomas Fletcher Harwell as The Kyle News, with offices on the corner of Burleson and Miller streets in the town's oldest remaining building. It merged into The Hays County Citizen in 1956. The paper consolidated with The Free Press in October, 1978. During its more than 100-year history the newspaper has maintained offices at more than a dozen locations in Kyle and Buda. BY PAIGE LAMBERT Kyle Police Chief Jeff news@haysfreepress.com Barnett said a case on a city report doesn't always mean the offense oc- An increasing number curred in that particular of sexual assault cases area. have dotted local and He said more officers county law enforcement have been called on sexu- blotters since late Janu- al assault cases since Se- ary. ton Medical Center Hays Many law enforcement was constructed. Many officials say while sexual times officers would ar- assault cases are trou- rive to find out the assault bling, the increases in occurred in neighboring numbers reflect popula- cities or counties. tion growth. "Victims of any kind Buda Police Chief Bo of assault occasionally Kidd said the number of end up at the hospital reported sexual assault and we get that call," cases has stayed within Barnett said. "Depending two to six cases each year. on the circumstances we "I don't think our prob- may generate a report or lems are any different or standby with the victim worse than any other area until a police officer from this size," Kidd said. "I that jurisdiction can would say our numbers come." are pretty typical and co- He said report num- inciding with population bers could also be reflect- going up." ed differently based on Buda's population was what system is used. Kyle marked at 10,209, accord- Police Department cur- ing to the United States rently uses the Uniform Census Bureau. Crime Reporting system, According to a report which places crimes in provided by the city, one eight categories. sexual assault case has Once law enforcement been reported this year. switches to the National The report was defined Incident-Based Reporting as indecency with a child System, cases will be cat- and is under investigation egorized in 23 different by the Criminal Investiga- categories, Barnett said. tions Department. "When people switch Kyle, with a population to NIBRS, everyone is go- of 31,760, according to ing to think the crime rate the census, had 14 sexual went up," Barnett said. assault cases reported in "The system will now in- 2011 and 2012. clude numbers and cases Nine cases were report- that weren't included." ed in 2009 and two were Nine cases of sexual reported in 2016, accord- assault were reported on ing to reports, the Hays County Sheriff's Office blotter since Jan. 6. HCSO lieutenant Jeri Skrocki said the time proximity isn't an anom- aly. "Sometimes we'll get multiple calls within a week or only one during a month," Skrocki said. "We'll see a natural ebb and flow but we haven't seen a spike in cases." Scrocki said of the cas- es currently under inves- tigation, the victim likely knew the offender. She said many cases deal with child abuse and are made when a family member finally decides to call. "We don't have any cases with unknown per- petrators like the cases in Austin," she said. "It's very unusual to get a stranger case." Kidd said Buda has ex- .perienced similar trends m regards to reports. He said a woman reported the sexual assault of her daughter twice within a couple of days. After tests and inter- views, the case was un- founded, meaning there Daytime Burglaries: Kyle PD warns Continued from pg. 1A Kyle Police believes multiple persons are involved in the incidences. The department is work- ing "several angles and multiple potential leads" on the cases. But Barnett described these burglaries as "dis- turbing" because of their stark contrast to the more commonly seen "crimes of opportunity." In those crimes, indi- viduals walk down a street of parked cars, checking each door handle. They quickly loot the ones left unlocked of smaller items such as purses and elec- tronics like ceil phones and tablets. "Since around Decem- ber until present day, we have seen an increase in burglaries that have been reported during the day," Barnett said. Barnett stressed the importance of citizens remaining alert even after a break-in has been reported in their area. He said suspects have been known to strike the same area multiple times. Social media, how- Police Chief Jeff Barnett recommends all citizens, especially those with young children or elderly relatives, to remain vigilant by locking all doors during daytime hours, even while home. ever, has proved to be an effective weapon for Kyle residents and the police to combat the the threat. More and more, people are taking to social media and documenting en- cotmters with unsolicited and suspicious visitors. Some of the stories involve an individual asking a homeowner an innocuous question, such as whether they speak Portuguese or are inter- ested in buying a vacuum, and then walking away. Barnett recommends all citizens, especially those with young children or elderly relatives, remain vigilant by locking all doors during daytime hours, even while home. He said discussing safety procedures with family members, along with watching out for friends and neighbors, is important. Anyone who witnesses suspicious behavior, such as someone ringing your doorbell and then asking if anyone in your home speaks a particular lan- guage, are asked to close and lock the door and call police. "It would be helpful to know if there were multi- ple individuals involved," Barnett said. "Descriptions including height, hair and skin color, clothing and any unique features such as tattoos or scars would be extremely helpful." was no evidence of sexual assault, he said. According to Buda, records showed there was at least one unfounded case each year. "The more people that are in a city, the more crime that will be report- ed," Kidd said. "Nothing jumped out at me that would cause me con- cern." Regardless of how re- cords are interpreted, any report of sexual assault is concerning, Kidd said, adding educating minors and using resources such as the Hays CountyWom- en's Shelter is essential to decreasing the number of cases. "Most of the time, we see women not leaving situations because they don't think they have any options," Kidd said. "Hays CountyWomen's Center gives them options and the work they do is vital." Check next week's edi- tion of the Hays Free Press to read about how Hays County is combating sex- ual assualts. 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