Violent crime recently on the rise in Columbia
Columbia police responded to one homicide, six home invasion robberies and a shooting during the past two weeks.
Columbia police officers responded to the latest home invasion robbery with a weapon on Wednesday night at the Vandiver Place Mobile Park. The victim told police two suspects stole some property before fleeing the scene. Joey Lewis heard gunshots during the home invasion from a block away at his girlfriend’s mobile home. Lewis believed Columbia’s crime was out of control.
“We were inside at the time. My girlfriend and her sisters were outside," Lewis said. "They came in and said they heard gunshots. We just stayed inside and were nervous. We locked all of the doors.”
Columbia police said illegal drug activities were the main causes of homicides and home invasions this year. Police said if you were not drug dealer or a heavy user of illegal drugs, the likelihood of experiencing a homicide or home invasion was extremely low. Investigators said their job was difficult because too many people with ties to these crimes did not want to talk to the police.
“Don’t ever hesitate to call the police department and report suspicious activity. In today’s day and age, people don’t always know their neighbors as well as they used to," Columbia Police Deputy Chief Jill Schlude said. "I think people have a pretty good idea when they think something is out of the norm.”
Schlude said gang activity also played a part in this year’s homicides and home invasion robberies in Columbia.
Police asked that anyone with information about any of these recent crimes to call Columbia CrimeStoppers at 573-875-TIPS to remain anonymous.