City of Fort Stockton Seeing a Rise in the Crime Rate

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

FORT STOCKTON - A few weeks ago, NewsWest 9 told you about local businesses booming in Fort Stockton. Now the town is seeing a boom of another kind, their crime rate.

From burglaries to criminal mischief and even murders, the crime is going up. It's a trend the Fort Stockton Police Department would like to see go down.

Over the last few months, Chief Art Fuentes and his force have seen a spike in the amount of crimes occurring in the city.

"We've had a few homicides, burglaries, a variety of different things," Chief Fuentes said.

Just in the last year, there have been more murders than the town is used to seeing, one that even targeted a still unidentified homeless man. The most recent homicide that happened on Sunday involved domestic violence.

"One is too many in any city that you have," Fuentes said. "I think what we're lacking here in Fort Stockton in regards to domestic violence is a shelter."

Chief Fuentes said the rise in crime could be from more people making their way to Fort Stockton but it's not easy to pinpoint.

"Each crime has its own driving force," he said. "It's sporadic, they're not connected."

Lately, the department has seen a big jump in criminal mischief around town.

"We've had a series of up to 20 businesses being vandalized," Chief Fuentes said.

This weekend, someone targeted a funeral home on Main Street and it was caught on camera.

"The window was shot out by a truck," Sean Peschel, with Heritage Funeral Home of the Big Bend, said. "We don't know who did it but we did review the DVR footage and we did see that they passed at least 10 minutes prior. I'm just very grateful that no one was in house and that we didn't have a family's funeral ruined at the time."

Investigators have worked several leads in these vandalism's but so far no luck.

But Chief Fuentes points out with the seemingly higher crime rate, the number of arrests is going up too.

"Our investigators, our police officers do find out who they are and they are putting people in jail," Fuentes said.

With this recent spike in crime, officials are asking everyone to be on the lookout for anything suspicious especially in the middle of the night.