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TBI finds murder, rape on decline; meth on rise

Murder and rape both declined in Tennessee over the past year, according to the most recent crime stats released by the TBI, but the news isn’t as promising when it comes to drugs.

Meth-related offenses continue to soar in Tennessee as the state saw an increase of 2,416 meth arrests from 2017 to 2018. Statewide, there were 15,899 meth arrests in 2018, an average of more than 43 a day.

“The police department and local law enforcement have fought methamphetamine and the effects of its abuse well over a decade now,” said McMinnville Police Chief Bryan Denton. “There are times when other drug abuse takes the forefront, such as prescription medications, but it always seems to come back around to meth at some point. We will continue to fight it through education, awareness and enforcement.”

The annual TBI report, which details every type of crime from burglary to kidnapping, shows the state murder rate decreased by 8 percent from 2017 to 2018, and the number of reported rapes decreased by 4.7 percent during that same time.

In other snapshots, the TBI reports domestic violence decreased by 6 percent statewide.

The summer months of July and August were the two months with the most crime, and the most frequent time of day to commit crime is from 3 to 5:59 p.m. The 25 to 34 age group was the most commonly victimized and the most commonly arrested.

Like the rest of the state, drug arrests were prevalent in Warren County with a combined 401 drug charges made by McMinnville Police Department and Warren County Sheriff’s Department.

There were two reported murders in Warren County in 2018, both cleared by arrest.

Greggory Allen Koller, 61, was charged with murder for the shooting death of his roommate in March 2018 at their remote home on Harrison Ferry Mountain. Just days later, Dakota Basham, 19, shot and killed his roommate off Bybee Branch Road.

As for other numbers specific to Warren County, simple assault was the most common crime in 2018 with a total of 447.

Intoxicated driving was also a problem as there were 174 arrests for DUI in Warren County in 2018.

In other local crime stats, there were 183 reported burglaries, 126 arrests for shoplifting, 88 reported motor vehicles stolen, 9 cases of arson, 8 cases of stalking, and 3 kidnappings/ abductions.