Crime Tracker: Ponderay Police Chief Says FBI Stats Skewed - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Crime Tracker: Ponderay Police Chief Says FBI Stats Skewed

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KHQ - The tiny town of Ponderay has the highest property crime rate in the State of Idaho, according to the FBI.  It’s not something you'd expect from the small town just 2.5 miles north of Sandpoint, but the Ponderay Police Chief Michael Hutter says the statistics aren’t what they seem and he says those FBI statistics are skewed. 

Chief Hutter says they’re skewed because so much crime comes from visitors in town, specifically, visitors who are shoplifting.  He says Ponderay is the shopping mecca for people in North Idaho, with box stores and car dealerships.  Ponderay has a population of about 1,143 people, but the Chief says with 250 businesses, the town has a daytime population between 8 and 10 thousand people; which increases crime all on its own.  Chief Hutter says “We've had that distinction on several occasions, in the top 5 on a few other occasions, but all those occurrences are skewed because of the people we bring to Ponderay who shop on a daily basis."

Chief Hutters claims are backed up by FBI statistics.  FBI shows there were only 2 violent crimes reported in Ponderay last year.  Property crimes like arson and burglary were also low.  However, there were 106 reports of theft.  When compared to the 1,143 person population, it appears there is a high percentage of people in town committing crime, which Chief Hutter says just isn’t true.  He says it’s important to consider the big picture anytime one looks at crime statistics for an area.




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