In Pender County violent and property crimes are up by 10.2 percent. That news doesn't sit well with the sheriff. Sheriff Carson Smith is not pleased with the stats, but says he has an idea of where it's coming from. The State Department of Justice crime report shows that Pender County overall crime is up 10.2 percent -- that's the average per 100,000 people. Sheriff Smith said most of that increase in crime is due to population growth and construction thefts. "With the cost of copper and the other things that make construction a prime target in those areas, that's what we're trying to do now is figure out what we can do to increase our presence and our patrols in those areas," said Smith. Sheriff Smith said a slow economy is also causing more property thefts. The slow economy has not prompted Sheriff Smith to cut the amount of deputies. He said he may beef up areas that are targets for robbers.
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