By DEB WUETHRICH
An assault in the region can tear at the fabric of people’s sense of security, even in the surrounding communities. Since the report of a sexual assault in Clinton’s Tate Park on Thursday, Sept. 29, and recent accounts of home invasions in Adrian and on the Monroe County border, individuals may be wondering how safe they are, even in the small towns of Lenawee County. While crime statistics are still relatively low in the area, serious incidents do sometimes take place.
The Monroe County incident took place on County Line Highway near Smith Road Wednesday night and involved five armed gunmen. An armed home invasion in Medina Twp. last year resulted in robbery and sexual assault. Earlier this week, Tecumseh police assisted in trying to locate a vehicle that witnesses said held a long gun out the window and was seen on M- 52 and then Raisin Center Hwy., and may have been related to an Adrian home invasion.
“Unfortunately, I think it’s a sign of our times, and we’re seeing an increase in these types of crimes and will probably see more,” said Tecumseh Police Chief Troy Stern. “With the economy and reductions in public safety numbers and increases in drug-related crimes, it’s a growing problem.”
Tecumseh’s crime statistics are relatively low compared to some communities, with eight aggravated assaults making the Uniform Crime Report for 2009 (2010 was not yet available). The report is put out by the Department of Justice and the FBI (www2fbi.gov/ucr) and reports violent crimes in communities across the country. Still, increasingly serious offenses are taking place even in the small towns.
“One of the advantages we have had in Tecumseh is we still have our own department and have been able to be a little more visible,” said Stern, “Our officers are seen out in the community, and I think that’s helped deter some crime here, but we’re seeing more of these offenses around us.”