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Madison police chief reports uptick in heroin-related deaths, theft

Madison Police Department Chief Mike Koval reported February saw an increase in car thefts and overdose deaths. 

Image By: Cameron Lane-Flehinger

Stolen cars and fatal heroin overdoses have been on the rise in Madison since the beginning of 2019, according to Madison Police Department Chief Mike Koval.

In a series of blog posts, Koval detailed statistics compiled by the police department on robberies, burglaries, auto thefts and heroin overdoses. Comparing them against last year’s totals, Koval noted decreases in burglaries and thefts from cars. Alongside car thefts and fatal overdoses, police also reported an uptick in robberies.

Since the beginning of the year, Madison has seen 132 burglaries, six less than the two-month total in 2018. Nearly half of all burglaries in February happened in neighborhoods west of downtown. Despite the slight drop in burglaries, robberies in February increased 50 percent from last February, rising to a monthly total of 21. 

Though the number of thefts from cars experienced a steep 43 percent drop, the number of stolen cars jumped 15 percent from the first two months of 2018. Police have so far recovered all but 10 of the 38 cars in February. Koval expressed disappointment in Madison residents for making their cars easy to steal, as more than half had the keys in them and 11 were unlocked and running at the time of the theft. 

Heroin overdoses in general were lower in the first two months of 2019 than in the same period last year, though there was an increase in the number of deaths from heroin overdoses. The vast majority of overdoses did not end in deaths, which Koval credits to the availability of naloxone, a drug that can counteract effects of an overdose. 

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