Cheyenne Police Launch “Lock It or Lose It” Campaign
Property crime is a major issue in Cheyenne and other cities in Wyoming. In 2021, as of December 8, police officers had responded to 394 stolen vehicle reports, representing a 104% increase over the previous year, as stated in a Cheyenne Police Department news release. The department recently launched a “Lock It or Lose It” campaign to encourage citizens to lock up their valuables, vehicles, and homes.
How Police Departments Communicate With Communities to Help Prevent Property Crimes
The Cheyenne Police Department’s Lock or Lose It campaign featured social media posts at 9 pm daily, reminding people to secure their valuables. This was part of a nationwide effort in which police departments are using social media and daily messaging to help create safer communities. Property crimes are preventable, as theft is a crime of opportunity. Police are asking citizens to partner with them to help reverse the trend.
Crimes That Fall Under the Umbrella of Property Crime in Wyoming
When a property crime is committed, the victim’s property is stolen or destroyed. This category of offenses includes:
- Larceny: Taking something of value without consent and with the intent to permanently deprive the rightful owner of that item.
- Burglary: Unlawful entry into a residence or other closed structure with the intent of stealing property or committing another crime.
- Robbery: Using force or the threat of force to take money or property from another person.
- Shoplifting: Theft or concealment of merchandise from a retail establishment with no intention of paying for the merchandise.
- Vandalism: Destroying, defacing, or degrading the property of another without the owner’s permission.
- Arson: Intentional burning of a structure, building, or forest land.
- Motor vehicle theft: Stealing a car, truck, motorcycle, or any motor vehicle.
Property Crime Statistics for Cheyenne
Property crime statistics for 2021 are provided by the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation. Cheyenne Police Department reports:
- 2,414 property crime cases
- 322 burglaries
- 405 cases of motor vehicle theft
- 1,671 larceny offenses
Property Crime Statistics for All of Wyoming
The Division of Criminal Investigation provides Wyoming property crime statistics statewide for 2021. Overall property crimes decreased from 8,709 in 2020. The agency reports:
- 6,434 cases of property crimes
- 1,032 burglaries
- 780 motor vehicle theft cases
- 45 cases of arson
- 4,577 larceny cases
Penalties for Property Crimes in Wyoming
Criminal penalties are steep for property crimes in Wyoming. For example, felony larceny of property valued at $1,000 or more is punishable by not more than 10 years imprisonment, a fine of not more than $10,000, or both. When it is charged as a misdemeanor, for property valued at less than $1,000, a larceny conviction could carry penalties of up to six months imprisonment, a fine of up to $750, or both. Stealing a horse, mule, sheep, cow, buffalo, or pig is a felony, punishable by a prison term of up to 10 years, a fine of up to $10,000 or both.
Defenses Against Property Crime Charges
Legal defenses that can be raised by your criminal defense attorney will depend on the specific circumstances of your case. Common defenses to property crimes include:
- Mistake: There was no criminal intent if you took an item by mistake.
- Coercion: If you were forced to steal or damage someone else’s property under the threat of injury, harm, or death, it may be a defense against property crime charges.
- Necessity: In an emergency situation, destruction of property may have been necessary to escape from danger or fire.
If you are facing property crime charges, contact a Gillette criminal defense lawyer who will work to get your charges reduced or dismissed. Call Steven Titus & Associates, P.C. at (307) 257-7800. Your case is just as important to us as it is to you.
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