Police: Crime rate in Berry Hill increases amid COVID-19

Coronavirus

BERRY HILL, Tenn. (WKRN) — COVID-19 has everyone locked down and practically everything shut down. Everything that is, except the crime rate in Berry Hill, a small municipality inside Davidson County.

Police Chief Tim Coleman told News 2, over the last two weeks, there has been approximately a 25 percent spike in crime from commercial break-ins, shop lifting and car break-ins.

Coleman said there is no doubt in his mind that the spike coincides with the COVID-19 emergency.

“There’s no doubt in mind the criminal element doesn’t take a day off, they don’t heed warnings, and they will take any advantage they can, and they could care less about you and your property while you are trying to maintain the safety in your life.”

That was the case on March 27th, at 700 block of Craig Street in Berry Hill.

It’s a business complex with offices belonging to a tailor, doctors, and financial companies.

Video showed a man entering the building, rearing back, and throwing a rock through a glass door. The man let himself into the office, flipped on the lights, then casually went from room to room stealing what he could find.

Chief Coleman said he got money and a computer

Chief Tim Coleman said, “This is someone who took advantage of people. normally there’s people around there, high density condos, so we usually have a lot of people there, this individual decides to prey on people to go in and walk around, flip lights on, you don’t matter, your stuff is mine mentality. we need to get this individual.”

Coleman said normally, there would be people in the business complex during the day. There are also several condo units nearby. However, because of COVID-19, people are hunkering down, and there are less community eyes and ears watching for suspicious activity.

Over the last 4 weeks, Metro Police reported a 20 percent increase across the city in commercial break-ins.

Numbers supplied by Metro Police showed a four-week analysis, comparing 2/2/20 through 2/29 to 3/1/20 through 3/28/20.

Over that span, there was an increase of 19 commercial burglaries, from 93 to 112.

A further break down shows that West Precinct had an increase of three commercial break-ins over that time span.

South Precinct showed an increase of 1, Central Precinct showed an increase of 6, Hermitage Precinct showed an increase of 4, Madison Precinct was even, and the Midtown Hills Precinct showed an increase of 9.

The East Precinct showed a decline of 3, and the North Precinct showed a decline of 1.

Coleman and Metro Police Officials told news 2 East and North had the most tornado damage that closed many businesses. This enhanced 24-hour security which in some instances is still present.

News 2 called police in Hendersonville, Ashland City, Gallatin, Lebanon and associated Sheriff’s Offices. Law Officers in these jurisdictions said they have not see the uptick in crime that Chief Coleman talks about.

Coleman said that’s because people in these communities are now home. Normally they commute from these cities to Nashville and Berry Hill to work.

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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