Annual Report Tracks Eastern Shore Crime, Arrests

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By Carol Vaughn —

The rate of both serious crimes and arrests on the Eastern Shore in 2021 was down from the previous year, according to the 2021 Crime in Virginia report, released recently by the Virginia State Police.

The number of murders on the Eastern Shore stayed even with the previous year.

Sheriff’s offices in Accomack and Northampton reported 10 murders or nonnegligent manslaughters, nine in Accomack and one in Northampton, in 2021.

Additionally, state police reported two murders in Accomack in 2021.

In 2020, the Accomack Sheriff’s Office reported 11 murders and the Northampton Sheriff’s Office reported one murder.

In Virginia as a whole, the violent crime rate increased in 2021 to 194.4 per 100,000 population from 183 in 2020. There were 16,823 violent crimes reported in 2021, compared to 15,713 in 2020, a 7.1% increase, according to a press release.

The report employs an Incident Based Reporting (IBR) method for calculating offenses.

By state mandate, Virginia State Police serves as the primary collector of crime data from state and local police departments and sheriff’s offices.

The 2021 report includes statistics from both counties’ sheriff’s offices, Virginia State Police reporting on crimes on the Shore, and statistics from seven Shore towns with police departments.

Accomack County Sheriff’s Office

The Accomack County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO) made 383 arrests in 2021, including two juveniles, according to the report.

The ACSO reported 875 serious offenses in the county and 130 adults and one juvenile arrested for crimes in the Group A category, which includes more serious crimes such as murder, rape, and burglary, among others.

The ACSO reported 250 arrests, including one juvenile, for Group B incidents, which include crimes such as liquor law violations, trespassing, driving under the influence, disorderly conduct, loitering, and nonviolent family offenses.

The rate of Group A crimes reported was 2,947.1 per 100,000 population and the arrest rate was 1,405.7 per 100,000 population.

The crime rate was down from 2020, when ACSO reported a serious crime rate of 3,447.5 per 100,000 populations and an arrest rate of 1,357.2.

The ACSO had 61 employees in 2021, including 52 sworn officers and nine civilians.

Details of the most serious crimes reported by ACSO in 2021 are as follows.

Crimes against persons:
• 9 murders/nonnegligent manslaughter; one juvenile arrested
• 1 negligent manslaughter
• 3 kidnappings
• 10 forcible rapes; 3 adults arrested
• 2 forcible sodomy incidents
• 1 sexual assault with an object
• 1 forcible fondling
• 4 statutory rapes
• 67 aggravated assaults; 15 adults arrested
• 276 simple assaults; 65 adults arrested
• 11 intimidation incidents; 6 adults arrested

Crimes against property:
• 1 arson
• 53 burglary/breaking and entering; 4 adults arrested
• 4 counterfeiting/forgery
• 114 vandalism; 10 adults arrested
• 8 embezzlement; 2 adults arrested
• 15 false pretenses/swindle/confidence game; 3 adults arrested
• 13 credit card/ATM fraud
• 1 impersonation
• 1 welfare fraud
• 7 wire fraud
• 13 identity theft
• 8 robberies
• 9 shoplifting, 2 adults arrested
• 3 thefts from a motor vehicle
• 2 theft of motor vehicle parts/ accessories
• 192 other larcenies; 8 adults arrested
• 14 motor vehicle thefts; 3 adults arrested
• 1 stolen property offense

Crimes against society:
• 9 drug violations; 3 adults arrested
• 2 pornography incidents
• 15 weapon law violations; 3 adults arrested
• 5 animal cruelty cases; 2 adults arrested

Northampton County Sheriff’s Office

The Northampton County Sheriff’s Office reported 184 serious offenses and 47 arrests, including one juvenile, in 2021.

The Group A crime rate was 1,458.6 per 100,000 population and the arrest rate was 479.4 per 100,000.

That was down from 2020, when the crime rate was 1,588.3 and the arrest rate was 652.2.

Thirty-three adults and one juvenile were arrested for crimes in the Group A category and 13 arrests were made for Group B crimes.

The NCSO had 79 employees, including 64 sworn officers and 15 civilians.

Details of the most serious crimes reported by the Northampton sheriff’s office in 2021 are as follows.

Crimes against persons:
• 1 murder
• 1 forcible rape
• 25 aggravated assaults; 3 adults arrested
• 34 simple assaults; 13 adults and 1 juvenile arrested
• 6 intimidation incidents; 2 adults arrested
• 1 human trafficking, commercial sex act

Crimes against property:
• 8 burglary/breaking and entering; 2 adults arrested
• 3 counterfeiting/forgery
• 27 vandalism; 3 adults arrested
• 6 false pretenses/swindle/confidence game
• 3 credit card/ATM fraud
• 1 impersonation
• 1 identity theft
• 3 shoplifting
• 2 theft from a building
• 1 theft from a coin-operated machine or device
• 6 thefts from a motor vehicle
• 30 other larcenies
• 4 motor vehicle thefts
• 1 stolen property offense

Crimes against society:
• 5 drug violations; 4 adults arrested
• 1 drug equipment violation
• 11 weapon law violations; 3 adults arrested
• 3 animal cruelty cases; 3 adults arrested

Virginia State Police

The state police in Accomack County reported 113 serious offenses and 122 arrests, including 1 juvenile, in 2021.

Seventy-five of the arrests, including 1 juvenile, were for Group B crimes.

Details of the most serious crimes reported by the Virginia State Police in Accomack in 2021 are as follows.

Crimes against persons:
• 2 murders; 2 adults arrested
• 1 kidnapping; 1 adult arrested
• 3 forcible rapes
• 1 forcible fondling
• 4 aggravated assaults
• 14 simple assaults; 8 adults arrested
• 3 intimidation incidents; 3 adults arrested
• 2 human trafficking, commercial sex acts Crimes against property:
• 3 arsons
• 1 burglary/breaking and entering
• 8 counterfeiting/forgery; 7 adults arrested
• 8 vandalisms; 3 adults arrested
• 2 embezzlement; 2 adults arrested
• 24 false pretenses/swindle/confidence game; 11 adults arrested
• 1 credit card/ATM fraud
• 1 identify theft
• 10 other larcenies
• 1 motor vehicle theft
• 1 stolen property offense

Crimes against society:
• 10 drug violations; 6 adults arrested
• 1 pornography
• 1 purchasing prostitution
• 9 weapon law violations; 3 adults arrested

In Northampton County, the state police in 2021 reported 32 serious offenses and 32 arrests.

Twenty-one of the arrests were for Group B offenses.

Details of the most serious crimes reported by the Virginia State Police in Northampton in 2021 are as follows.

Crimes against persons:
• 8 aggravated assaults; 3 adults arrested
• 1 intimidation incident

Crimes against property:
• 3 counterfeiting/forgery; 1 adult arrested
• 3 embezzlements
• 8 false pretenses/swindle/confidence game; 4 adults arrested
• 2 impersonations
• 1 identify theft
• 2 other larcenies; 2 adults arrested

Crimes against society:
• 2 drug violations; 1 adult arrested
• 1 pornography
• 1 weapon law violation

Three towns in Northampton and four in Accomack had reports for town police departments included in the state police report.

Cape Charles

Cape Charles Police Department reported 23 serious offenses and 37 arrests, including seven for Group A offenses and 30 for Group B offenses.

Twenty-five arrests were for driving under the influence.

The number of officers was not listed for Cape Charles.

Details of the most serious crimes reported by Cape Charles police in 2021 are as follows.

Crimes against persons:
• 4 aggravated assaults; 2 adults arrested
• 8 simple assaults; 3 adults arrested

Crimes against property:
• 1 burglary
• 3 vandalism
• 1 identify theft
• 1 theft from a motor vehicle
• 2 other larcenies; 2 adults arrested
• 1 motor vehicle theft

Crimes against society:
• 1 drug violation
• 1 weapon law violation

Eastville

Eastville, with six officers, reported four serious offenses and four arrests, including three for Group B offenses — one for driving under the influence and two other offenses.

Details of the most serious crimes reported by Eastville police in 2021 are as follows.

Crimes against persons:
• 1 aggravated assault

Crimes against property:
• 1 arson; 1 adult arrested
• 1 identify theft
• 1 other larceny

Exmore

Exmore Police Department, with seven officers, reported 108 serious offenses and 36 arrests, including one juvenile, in 2021.

Twelve arrests were for Group B offenses, including five for driving under the influence, four for trespassing, and three for other offenses.

Details of the most serious crimes reported by Exmore police in 2021 are as follows.

Crimes against persons:
• 1 adult arrested for murder
• 1 forcible rape
• 1 forcible fondling; 1 adult arrested
• 1 statutory rape
• 10 aggravated assaults; 1 adult arrested
• 9 simple assaults; 3 adults arrested

Crimes against property:
• 4 burglary/breaking and entering; 1 adult arrested
• 9 counterfeiting/forgery; 6 adults arrested
• 14 vandalism
• 8 false pretenses/swindle/confidence game
• 5 credit card/ATM fraud; 2 adults arrested
• 2 robberies; 1 adult arrested
• 7 shoplifting; 3 adults arrested
• 2 theft from a motor vehicle
• 22 other larcenies; 2 adults arrested
• 5 motor vehicle thefts; 2 adults arrested

Crimes against society:
• 1 drug violation
• 7 weapon law violations Chincoteague

In Accomack County, Chincoteague Police Department, with 10 sworn officers and four civilians, reported 83 serious offenses and 54 arrests, including one juvenile.

Thirty arrests were for Group B offenses, including nine for driving under the influence and 21 for other offenses.

Details of the most serious crimes reported by Chincoteague police in 2021 are as follows.

Crimes against persons:
• 3 forcible rapes; 1 adult arrested
• 1 sexual assault with an object
• 1 forcible fondling; 1 adult arrested
• 1 aggravated assault
• 17 simple assaults; 8 adults arrested

Crimes against property:
• 3 burglary/breaking and entering; 1 adult arrested
• 16 vandalism
• 4 false pretenses/swindle/confidence game
• 3 credit card/ATM fraud
• 1 impersonation
• 1 identity theft; 1 adult arrested
• 5 shoplifting; 3 adults arrested
• 3 theft from a building
• 1 theft from a motor vehicle
• 16 other larcenies; 5 adults arrested
• 4 motor vehicle thefts; 1 adult arrested

Crimes against society:
• 3 drug violations; 2 adults arrested

Onancock

Onancock Police Department, with four officers, reported 75 serious offenses and 13 arrests, of which 10 were for Group A offenses and three were for Group B offenses — one for trespassing and two for other offenses.

Details of the most serious crimes reported by Onancock police in 2021 are as follows.

Crimes against persons:
• 1 kidnapping
• 9 simple assaults; 1 adult arrested
• 1 intimidation

Crimes against property:
• 7 burglary/breaking and entering; 4 adults arrested
• 1 counterfeiting/forgery
• 18 vandalism; 1 adult arrested
• 1 false pretenses/swindle/confidence game; 1 adult arrested
• 1 identity theft
• 7 theft from a motor vehicle
• 32 other larcenies; 3 adults arrested

Crimes against society:
• 2 drug violations
• 6 weapon law violations

Onley

Onley Police Department, with four officers, reported 37 serious offenses and 30 arrests, including one juvenile.

Twenty-two arrests were for Group B offenses, including three driving under the influence, one for trespassing, and 16 other offenses.

Details of the most serious crimes reported by Onley police in 2021 are as follows.

Crimes against persons:
• 1 aggravated assault; 1 adult arrested
• 2 simple assaults; 1 adult arrested Crimes against property:
• 1 burglary/breaking and entering
• 1 counterfeiting/forgery
• 2 vandalism; 1 adult arrested
• 1 credit card/ATM fraud
• 2 identity theft
• 6 shoplifting; 2 adults arrested
• 2 thefts from a building
• 2 thefts from a motor vehicle
• 1 theft of motor vehicle parts
• 7 other larcenies
• 1 motor vehicle theft

Crimes against society:
• 3 drug violations; 3 adults arrested

Parksley

Parksley Police Department, with one officer, reported four serious offenses and four arrests, including one juvenile.

The offenses reported included:
• 1 aggravated assault
• 2 vandalisms
• 1 embezzlement, with 1 adult arrested

The 2021 Virginia Crime Report is available online at the Virginia State Police website at https://vsp.virginia.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/CrimeInVirginia2021.pdf

Following last week’s article on crime statistics reported by the counties and state police, sheriffs from both counties offered comments.

“The safety of the citizens in Accomack County is my number one priority,” said Accomack Sheriff Todd Wessells.

“Based upon the statistics from 2020, I observed an increase in crime within the County and approached our Board of Supervisors, asking for four (4) new law enforcement positions to help combat that increase,” he wrote in an email to the Post. “Effective July 1, 2022, the Board of Supervisors so graciously provide us with those positions. We are currently in the recruitment process to fill the positions.

“I’m also very concerned about the safety of students within our school system so I’m currently working with the Accomack County School Board to find adequate solutions,” Wessells continued. “Unfortunately, within the past three (3) years legislators have enacted laws restricting law enforcement officers from proactive policing. I encourage citizens to contact their local representatives to voice their opinions on legislation that restricts proactive policing.”

Northampton Sheriff David Doughty wrote in an email message, “Since the beginning of the Pandemic, law enforcement agencies all across our Country have seen an increase in crime. Compared to 2019 and 2020, the overall crime rate was down in 2021 in Northampton County. …We are blessed to have the men and women who wear the badge and uniform every day to protect our communities to help see that we all have a safe place to live, work, and raise our families.”

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