Robberies, carjackings increase since Memphis issued Safer at Home order

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — If you thought crime would have taken a dip since the City of Memphis issued its Safer at Home order, you’d be wrong.

Since the order took effect March 24, crimes like robberies and carjackings are up.  

“Violent crime is only slightly up, but we’re definitely concerned about it,” Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings said.

WREG analyzed publicly-available MPD crime data for the three weeks after the Safer at Home order was issued and the three weeks prior to the order.

There were 15 homicides from March 24 to April 14, compared to 14 homicides from March 2 to March 23.

There were 17 carjackings in the three weeks after the March 24 order, compared to 15 carjackings in the three weeks prior to the order.

Robberies are up slightly as well. WREG counted 116 robberies during the lockdown, compared to 107 robberies in the three weeks before the lockdown.

Criminologist C.T. Freeman said crime trends appear to be following seasonal patterns.

“You have to realize that crime goes through a cycle every year,” Freeman said. “When it’s warmer outside, certain types of crime increase.”

But that means criminals aren’t following the Safer at Home order.

Police said Monday two men robbed a South Memphis Boost Mobile store at knifepoint.

On March 27, three days after the Safer at Home order took effect, a man and woman are accused of carjacking someone in the Arbors of Hickory Ridge apartments.

“They’re obviously not taking into account the social distancing and the precautions to be made as well, if you will, kind of like rebels living on the edge of society in a way,” Freeman said.

Police want to make it known that they’re cracking down. They launched Operation Spring Cleaning on Saturday to combat crime.

“Thus far, we made nine arrests, recovered guns, drugs and stolen merchandise,” Rallings said.

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