Sandpoint bucked local crime trend in 2018

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SANDPOINT — Criminal offenses rose around Bonner County in 2018, although the rate fell in Sandpoint, according to Idaho State Police.

The Sandpoint Police Department logged 529 offenses in 2018, a reduction of 7.36 percent from 2017 offenses, the state agency’s annual crime report said. The department cleared 307, or 58.3 percent of those offenses.

Sandpoint Police made 503 arrests in 2018, down 8.38 percent from the previous year. The most prevalent offenses were thefts (121), followed by narcotics (117). The department tallied one murder, 76 misdemeanor assaults and 13 felony ones.

The Bonner County Sheriff’s Office saw its offenses and arrests increase from 2017 to 2018, according to the ISP crime report. The department logged 1,118 offenses, a 33.73 percent increase over 2017. Of the 1,118 total offenses, 360 were cleared, resulting in a clearance rate of 32.2 percent, the report said.

The most common offenses deputies responded to were thefts (224), simple assault (183), narcotics violations (145) and burglaries (143). The report noted two murders which have yet to be cleared.

Police departments in Priest River and Ponderay also saw increases in offenses in 2018.

Priest River Police had 131 offenses in 2018, a 12.93 percent increase. Its officers cleared 112 of the cases, leading to a clearance rate of 85.5 percent. Officers made 135 arrests in 2018, a decrease of 10.6 percent over the prior year.

The most prevalent offenses in Priest River were simple assault (31), thefts (27) and drug violations (26), according to the report.

Officers in Ponderay saw 261 offenses, an increase of 12.02 percent. The report noted 190 cases had been cleared, resulting in a clearance rate of 72.8 percent. Officers made 286 arrests in 2018, an increase of 48.19 percent. Theft was the most common offense by far (147), followed by drugs (32) and drug paraphernalia (26).

Sandpoint Police had 96 driving under the influence cases in 2018, while the sheriff’s office had 74. Priest River and Ponderay police each had 13 DUI cases last year.

Statewide, there 88,269 offenses in 2018, an increase of 0.54 percent over the previous year. Violent crime increased 1.95 percent and crimes against persons rose by 3.57 percent.

State police tallied 26 hate crimes in 2018, a decrease of 49.02 percent over 2017.

Keith Kinnaird can be reached by email at and follow him on Twitter @KeithDailyBee.

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