Through the first four months of 2018, Arkansas' capital city was off to its slowest start for robberies in at least six years, according to police data.
Data show Little Rock police recorded 93 robberies through April. It's the lowest robbery figure recorded in the four-month span since at least 2012, according to department data.
On average from 2012-17, Little Rock police recorded about 217 robberies during the first four months of the year, according to department data.
"We have noticed that they're down, and that's a good thing," said Little Rock police spokesman Lt. Michael Ford.
Ford said it's difficult to identify a cause behind the decrease but that the department would like to think it's because of putting more officers on the street through 12-hour work shifts.
"It could be a number of different things," he said of why the robbery figures are down.
Preliminary Little Rock police data through May 7 show that the 98 robberies represent a 43 percent decrease compared with the same time frame the year before. Violent crime overall is down 28 percent this year compared with 2017, according to the preliminary data.
A series of robberies last weekend stands in contrast to the downward trend. At least seven robberies occurred in Little Rock from Friday evening through early Monday, including a carjacking early Sunday at a convenience store that resulted in the arrest of four men.
Shortly before 1 a.m. Sunday, a woman told police that her 39-year-old husband had been the victim of an assault in which robbers took her white BMW 750I. The victim told officers that he had gone to the convenience store at 3704 Asher Ave. to buy tobacco products and was approached by someone he'd met at a basketball tournament.
After reportedly assaulting the victim, the robbers took the car, police said.
Records show four people have been arrested in the case. Narris Jackson, 19, of Little Rock; Malachi Cartwright, 19, of Little Rock; Cavorontre Green, 19, of Little Rock; and Arlando Coleman, 16, of Little Rock, were charged with robbery and theft of property.
Last year, Green was arrested in the June shooting of a 7-year-old boy who was wounded while outside his grandmother's home on Washington Street. According to court documents, Green was accused of shooting the child, who police said was not the target.
Online court records show charges were dropped against Green in the shooting.
John Johnson, chief deputy prosecutor for Pulaski County, said charges were dropped because the only witness to identify Green as the shooter could not be found and served with a subpoena.
"It's a very frustrating situation to be in," he said. Johnson encouraged anyone with information on the case to come forward and said charges could be refiled.
Last fall, Little Rock police identified Green as a member of the Monroe Street Hustlers. The gang, according to federal authorities, started as the Monroe Street Hustlers, then changed its name to Real Hustlers Incorporated because of unwanted and mounting pressure from Little Rock police.
Federal authorities say the Bloods-affiliated gang was involved in the mass shooting at the Power Ultra Lounge last summer, and police documents show the gang has ties to numerous shootings in Arkansas' capital city.
Information for this article was contributed by Brandon Riddle of Arkansas Online.
Metro on 05/17/2018
Print Headline: '18 starting slow for LR robberies