During 2022, the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office crime statistics show a significant decline in major crime categories compared to 2021. Larceny/Theft is down 24 percent, Breaking and Entering is down 23 percent, Motor Vehicle Theft is down 26 percent, Stolen Property is down 35 percent, and Robbery is down more than 50 percent.
Homicides were also down year-over-year. During 2022, there were four homicides for the reporting jurisdiction of the Sheriff’s Office compared to seven in 2021. The Sheriff’s Office has brought charges in all of the 13 homicides investigated during the last three years.
“Thank you to all of our Deputies, Detectives and Detention Officers, as a result of their hard work we are seeing a reduction in crime for the third consecutive year. The increase in arrests for high-level crime and repeat offenders has been a key factor in our crime reduction strategy,” says Buncombe County Sheriff Quentin Miller.
According to the Annual Summary Support of Uniform Crime from the NC SBI, the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office saw a nine percent reduction in index crime offenses in 2021 and a two percent drop in 2020.
Under Sheriff Miller, there has been a focus on arresting individuals who are doing the most harm to the community and are responsible for organizing criminal theft rings. This new enforcement strategy by the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office has led to a reduction in crime. During 2022 examples of this strategy include the arrest of a theft ring led by James William Yates III; William Melvin Reese II, who was recently sentenced to 55 months in prison for motor vehicle thefts; and the recovery of more than 4,000 stolen items from Denny’s Pawn Shop. These are just a few examples of large criminal theft operations disrupted by our Detectives’ investigative work during the past year.
The Property Crimes Unit at the Sheriff’s Office consists of 11 Detectives and two Sergeants. These 13 individuals focus their resources on investigating and arresting suspects who are responsible for multiple larcenies and have a pattern of committing property crimes. Multiple Detectives in Criminal Investigations have been working in coordination on large-scale investigations like Denny’s Pawn Shop. They have also relied on community members who are providing tips and assistance in leading us to suspects.
“Crime statistics represent more than just numbers. Behind each one there is a measure of justice provided to a victim, and a great deal of hard work and dedication by the detectives who work each case,” says Captain Angie Tullis, with the Criminal Investigations Division of the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office.
This drop in property crimes for the Sheriff’s Office during 2022 continues a trend in crime reduction dating back to 2020. According to data from the NC SBI, in 2021, a nine percent reduction in Crime Index Offenses occurred for the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office according to the NC SBI. (See table 5 in the following PDF https://www.ncsbi.gov/Services/Crime-Statistics/Crime-in-North-Carolina-Annual-Summaries/2021-Annual-Summary.aspx.)
In 2020, the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office saw a two percent drop in Crime Index Offenses according to the NC SBI. (See table 5 in the following PDF
(The 2022 annual crime report from the SBI will not be available until later this year.)
Additionally, the MAT Drug Treatment Program at the Buncombe County Detention Facility is helping to reduce recidivism with a 19 percent reduction in criminal charges among those participating in the program. Many property crimes are driven by addiction.
The Sheriff’s Office Real Time Intelligence Center (RTIC) is also allowing for a quicker response time to certain crimes and the widespread adoption of security cameras, and better quality cameras, at homes and businesses is aiding and improving our ability to identify suspects and suspect vehicles.
Below are the number of reported crimes in major categories during the last two years for the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office:
The number of homicide charges brought each year since 2000, by the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office:
2000 – 4
2001 – 1
2002 – 7
2003 – 4
2004 – 3
2005 – 8
2006 – 3
2007 – 6
2008 – 5
2009 – 4
2010 – 3
2011 – 4
2012 – 4
2013 – 13
2014 – 2
2015 – 4
2016 – 6
2017 – 5
2018 – 1
2019 – 2
2020 – 4
2021 – 7
2022 – 4