Brutal winter putting freeze on crime activity

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO (KTVI)-- According to St. Louis County Police Officer Brian Schellman, there are lots of factors that go into crime numbers and weather is one of them. The brutal winter has basically put the freeze on criminal activity.

"Weather is definitely one of the factors. We've had a lot of cold weather especially this past month lots of snow and ice. Those types of climates keep people indoors," he said.

Here are the numbers from the county since the winter hit counting murders, burglaries, robberies, assaults and arson. In November, there were 703 recorded crimes. In December, numbers jumped to 732. During January when the cold weather was at its worst, the numbers dropped to 664. Police say the majority of the crimes were thefts from cars and stores.

"Stolen vehicles usually creep up more in the winter. that's from people warming their cars and leave their doors unlocked. The perfect crime of opportunity," said Schellman.

St. Louis City has also seen a similar trend over the winter months. Between November and January numbers went from 3,744 to 3,206 crimes per month. Authorities say when temperatures go up so do the number of person to person crimes. County police also say there have been two murders so far this winter and both were in the month of December.

"More people are out enjoying the weather sometimes alcohol and drugs play a factor. That`s why we do lots of hot spot policing to find out the trends where crime is happening and send extra officers to those areas," he said.

St. Louis City Crime statistics
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