This week has been a crime filled one here in Prince William County. We generally do not cover crime on this blog. The newspapers usually handle things adequately. If there is the slightest of chances that the perpetrator might be an illegal immigrant, the dark screen is all over it.
However, in light of the fact that our esteemed chairman of the BOCS has publicly stated that violent crime is down by 20% (even though murder is up and rape is unchanged), and that passing the Resolution helped make this happen, we thought we should illuminate a few cases that indicate Mr. Stewart’s announcement might be somewhat misleading. Earlier this week, the News and Messenger reported the following regarding the 2008 PWC Crime statistics:
Stewart, a Republican, hailed the drop in violent crime as a victory for Prince William’s tough stance against illegal immigration. Since July 2008, county police have been required to determine the immigration status of anyone taken into custody.
Of the 1,802 people arrested last year for murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, larceny, or car theft, 63 were in America illegally.
Only five illegal immigrants were charged with violent crimes, though: one with rape and four with aggravated assault.
So how does the county know its tough stance has worked? The arrest numbers for violent acts are small.
“My response is: exactly,” Stewart said.
Illegal immigrants, concerned about being discovered, may have left the county when they heard they could be deported if they committed a crime, he said.
Or, by deporting an illegal convicted of a lesser offense, authorities can prevent a future, more vicious crime, Stewart said.
“If you’re going to get into trouble, Prince William County is the last place you want to be as an illegal immigrant,” he said.
So much for statistics. Mid-week, there was an armored car heist. Three men, wearing black and white Halloween masks held up a Loomis armored car at gun point. The Loomis employees were not injured. Eventually the three were apprehended after a tip from a senior citizen.
As if this wasn’t enough excitement, yesterday an officer attempted to pull over a suspected drunk driver. The driver refused to stop, went on a rampage, and tried to mow her down with his vehicle. The officer was pinned between her car and the door. The driver went on to injure four others near Minnieville and Smoketown Roads. Despite being shot at twice, the suspect got away. He was apprehended today (Friday) around 9 a.m. A civilian pointed out a suspicious looking person riding a bicycle. The police flooded the area and even customers from Lowes got in the act by attempting to grab the suspect or ram his with shopping carts. (which seems rather minor after he attacked one of Prince William’s finest with a vehicle.)
Weapons were drawn again and the young man was apprehended.
According to the News and Messenger:
In addition to attempted capital murder, the teen faces charges of aggravated malicious wounding of a police officer, felony eluding police, felony hit and run and grand larceny auto, police said.
Interestingly enough, none of the perps in either of these cases of violent crime appear to be illegal immigrants. How will that fit in with Mr. Stewart’s statistics?