GARY BENEDICT

Gary Benedict Jr.

Middletown’s Police Department recorded more offenses in 2018 than the year before, according to the Virginia State Police’s annual crime analysis report.

It does not, however, necessarily mean there is more crime.

“There was probably about the same number but those that would have been answered by the (Frederick County) Sheriff's Office are now being answered more by our department,” said Middletown Police Chief Gary Benedict Jr.

The recently released 2018 annual crime analysis showed there were 35 incidents for a total of 36 offenses.

It also reported no arrests but Benedict disputes that figure and said the department had 14 criminal arrests.

In 2017, the report showed 13 incidents but does not indicate the number of offenses or number of arrests.

Benedict explained that in 2017 his department was staffed by himself and officer Matt Clark. That left a lot of calls in Middletown answered by the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, and those incidents were logged in the 2017 report under the county, Benedict said.

For most of the time detailed in the 2018 crime report, Middletown had three full time sworn police officers. With more officers and more man-hours available in 2018, he said the department responded to more of its residents' calls.

The most reported crime: simple assaults, otherwise known as assault and battery, which he said can be both verbal or physical.

There were nine simple assaults in 2018 and no aggravated assaults.  In 2017, there were no aggravated assaults and one simple assault. There were six reports of vandalism to property in 2018.

Benedict said he has noticed an uptick in thefts from unlocked vehicles.

The 2018 report listed five calls of theft from a motor vehicle. It also listed one report of a theft from a building.

Benedict said the town is lucky because it doesn't routinely experience what is seen in some of the area's larger communities. 

“Most of our calls are quality-of-life issues, parking complaints, speeding, dog at large,” Benedict said.

The 2018 crime report does show one report of forcible rape, the same number as 2017, as well as two drug or narcotics violations.

Contact Melissa Topey at mtopey@nvdaily.com