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COLUMBUS — Columbus Police have seen a double-digit jump in theft cases this year.

The department has investigated 303 theft reports in 2017 compared to 270 through November a year ago.

Theft offenses include theft by exercising control, by far the most common offense, theft by deception, theft of services and theft by refusing to return lost property.

Officers have investigated 281 theft by exercising control offenses during the first 11 months of the year, up 6 percent from 265 during the same period in 2016.

Burglaries, however, are on the decline.

Local officers responded to 42 burglary reports during the first 11 months of the year, down from the 51 break-ins they were called to through November of 2016. Police investigated four burglaries in November.

Alcohol-related offenses are running ahead of last year’s pace.

City officers gave six drunken drivers a ride to the county jail in November as the holiday season got underway, up from four during the same month in 2016. For the year, police have made 66 driving under the influence arrests compared to 62 during the same period last year.

The number of minor in possession offenses has been sharply higher so far in 2017, but is still on pace to remain below the century mark.

Police cited 72 people for MIP through the first 11 months of the year, a 41 percent spike from the 51 offenses recorded through November in 2016. In November, officers cited six minors for MIP.

Drug offenses are also on the rise.

Citations for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana climbed from 80 through the first 11 months of last year to 99 so far in 2017.

Possession of drug paraphernalia offenses have been on a similar trajectory, with officers issuing 113 citations through November of this year compared to 95 during the same period in 2016.

Offenses involving drugs such as methamphetamine have inched ahead of last year’s pace, as well.

Police made 44 arrests for possession of a controlled substance through November, up from 39 during the same period a year ago.

Columbus officers have written 3,987 total citations through November, a decline of 19.8 percent from the 4,974 issued during the first 11 months of 2016.

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Reporter

Jim Osborn is a news reporter at The Columbus Telegram.

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