• By Lisa Brody

Identity theft and fraud increase in township

Bloomfield Township Police Chief Scott McCanham presented the 2017 police department annual report at the board of trustees meeting on Monday, August 13, noting that while felonies saw a slight downturn last year, identity theft and fraud soared, as it did nationwide.

McCanham pointed out the department experienced wide changes in the previous year with the retirement of former chief Geof Gaudard and McCanham's elevation to chief. “He was a mentor to me and I am proud to call him a friend and colleague,” McCanham wrote at the beginning of the report. Since, they have put a new command leadership structure in place. “These new command officers bring fresh ideas and enthusiasm to an already forward thinking command structure.”

In highlighting the data from 2017, McCanham said they saw a slight dip in felonies in 2017 from 2016, “with just over 1,000 part one crimes.” Broken down, there were two incidents of criminal sexual conduct one and three in 2017; there were three in 2016. There was one incident of criminal sexual conduct two and four, while there were four cases in 2016. There was one kidnapping in 2016, and none in 2017.

In 2017, there was one robbery, while there were three in 2016. There were 59 assaults and 10 incidents of aggravated assault in 2017; in 2016, there were 62 assaults and eight aggravated assaults. There were 48 calls in 2017 of intimidation/stalking versus 64 calls in 2016. In 2017, there were 48 home invasions while in 2016, there were 67.

There were 42 larcenies from building in 2017 versus 35 in 2016, while there were 62 larcenies from automobile in 2017 and 94 in 2016.

McCanham pointed out the township saw a significant rise in fraud and identity theft in the last two years, 394 incidents in 2017 and 71 incidents of retail fraud. There were 406 reports of fraud and identity theft in 2016 and 55 calls of retail fraud.

“That matches the nationwide trend for identity theft,” he said.

The number of drug violations was steady, 91 in 2017, and 90 in 2016. There were 10 weapons violations in 2017, while there were 18 in 2016.

“We are the fourth safest place in Michigan,” McCanham reported.

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