Local News

Raleigh Police Become Experts in Crime

Posted May 2, 1999

— If you do the crime in Raleigh, you will probably wind up doing time, especially when it comes to auto thefts and robberies.

Raleigh Policesay the key to solving many crimes is to become an expert in that area. So, their approach uses special units that focus on a specific crime.

They have been able to solve more cases than other departments across the country.

Raleigh police say 32-year-old William Winston robbed a convenience store and nine others just six days after being released from prison.

"He was very quick. He was committing about 2 to 3 robberies every 24 to 36 hour period, so obviously, we had to work quickly on it," said Raleigh Police Sgt. Norman Grodi.

That quick work has lead to Raleigh Police solving 70 percent of all robbery crimes in the city including nabbing the suspect in a high speed chase down the beltline. Nationally, police are only able to solve about a third of these cases.

Raleigh Police say specialized teams concentrating on one type of crime is the key.

"I think specialization is needed in order to meet the goals of the public and meet the demands that are required through an investigative process," said Grodi.

No one needs to tell that to Sean Kohler who had his car stolen at a book store in November.

"I went in and found what I needed to find and come right back out, and the car was gone," said Kohler.

Kohler ended up getting a new car, but the department's specialized auto theft unit found his old car a week later.

Nationally, only 14 percent of these crimes are solved. Raleigh's rate is more than twice that at 33 percent.

"I think it's just reassuring to know they are on top of things, that they're not going to let people get away with it," said Kohler.

Raleigh police say the specialized units better track previous offenders. Police also have more time to visit other departments tracking similar crimes to see if there are any possible links.

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