MEDFORD, Ore. — Police are chasing down more robbers and counterfeiters this year compared to last year. The Medford Police Department released statistics showing crime is up in several categories from January to November.
Counterfeiting is up nearly 38 percent. Police are seeing more businesses and individuals reporting fake bills. Another category on the uptick, robbery is up 56 percent. Police are attributing the rise to drugs.
“We see people getting desperate for drugs, more than ever, particularly heroin, methamphetamine. So, what do they do to get the drugs? They steal, they commit the robberies and they gotta get the money,” explained Lt. Mike Budreau.
Other categories up so far this year are suicides or attempted suicides, up 30 percent. Many times when police respond to these incidents, the person isn’t just suffering from depression but has a history of mental illness.
Police plan to continue working closely with the mental health department to help. Officers also undergo yearly training to help better identify and interact with someone who has a mental illness.