After four consecutive months of reported crimes that were lower than the previous year, Pine Bluff has now experienced three straight months of reported increases. Even with those increases, total reported crime for the year is still down compared to 2017 figures.
The numbers for July showed 433 crimes reported, 18 more than in July 2017 (415) or a 4.34 percent increase.
Increases were reflected in three of the four categories of crimes against property, with commercial burglaries more than doubling, going from 8 in July 2018 to 19 last month. Residential burglaries increased from 56 to 62, and reported thefts from 122 to 140.
The only category that showed a decrease was reported auto thefts, which dropped from 46 to 20.
Looking at crimes against persons, there were 127 simple assaults reported last month, five more than in July 2017. Aggravated assaults dropped from 38 in July 2017 to 37 last month while reported robberies went increased from 14 in July 2017 to 18 last month. There were seven rapes or reported rapes, one more than in July 2017.
There were two murders reported in July, one less than in July 2017, and police have not made arrests on either one of them.
On July 29, police responded to a report that a car had hit a pole at the intersection of Camden Road and Union Avenue and found Antonio Urquhart, 27, inside the vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene of apparent multiple gunshot wounds to the upper body.
While officers were at that scene, they were called to a reported shooting at 5102 W. 6th Ave., where they found the body of Travis Scales, 32, inside the residence. He had also been shot and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Those two deaths brought to 10 the number of murders in Pine Bluff in the first seven months of the year. During the same period in 2017, a total of 16 murders had been committed, with the city finishing the year with 28 murders.
Anyone with information about the deaths of Urquhart or Scales, or any of the other unsolved homicides in Pine Bluff should contact the Detective Division at 730-2081 or the dispatch center at 541-5300. All calls will be kept confidential.