DA: Cumberland County has ‘huge spike’ in crime

CARLISLE, Pa. (WHTM) – Car chases, burglaries, retail thefts: Cumberland County is fraught with crime this year.

“At this point in time, we were about three percent higher of the number of reported crimes than we were in 2015,” said Hampden Township police Lt. Steve Shissler, Commander of the Criminal Investigations Division.

It might not sound like much, but Cumberland County has 16 police departments and District Attorney David Freed says all are seeing an uptick.

“Everybody is way up in terms of criminal incidents this year,” Freed said. “I mean, we’re over 500 adult criminal dockets ahead of where we were last year.”

Freed says it’s a “huge spike.”

“That’s the biggest one I’ve ever seen, and we’ve been doing this for a long time,” he said. “So, there’s a lot of work to do.”

So, we asked: where is it coming from?

“Generally, what we’re seeing are theft-related crimes,” Shissler said. “They’re taking those out on the street and pawning those and selling those for drugs.”

Police in Silver Spring Township, which has a lot of big box stores, tell us the same thing: it’s drugs.

In Carlisle, police recently arrested 12 drug dealers and filed charges Thursday in a homicide case.

Police say the increase is worrisome, but it could also be a result of better investigative training.

“Just to take that second look and look a little deeper just to find the root cause of this, or where does this thing branch out to, or what else might be going on that plays into this retail theft,” Shissler said.

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