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Posted on Sat, Jan 19, 2013 : 11 a.m.

Statistics show only break-ins and narcotic offenses on rise in Pittsfield Township

By John Counts


From the Pittsfield Township Department of Public Safety's website

Pittsfield Township was a safer place to be in 2012, according to a year-end crime report.

Numbers were down in nearly all the criminal categories. The only two that saw increases were narcotic-related violations and home invasions.

“Overall … the news is positive,” said Pittsfield Township police chief Gordy Schick.

The biggest jump was in drug infractions with a 49 percent increase. There were 275 reported offenses in 2012 compared with 184 in 2011. Home invasions saw an increase of 20.4 percent with 171 reported in 2012 compared to 142 the year before.

Robberies stayed exactly the same with 21 in both years.

There were decreases in all other categories including homicides, sexual assaults, assaults, larcenies, motor vehicle thefts and malicious damage to property, according to the report.

There were no homicides in 2012 compared to one the year before. In 2011, Gregory Noack killed his girlfriend, Dawn Fital, a 45-year-old championship pool player and mother of four in the bed of their Arbor Knoll apartment because she refused sexual contact with him. He eventually pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced up to 70 years in prison.

Criminal sexual conduct cases decreased by 10 percent, from 20 to 18. Assaults were down even lower, 28 percent, from 350 to 251.

Larceny incidents decreased 18 percent, from 495 to 405 and motor vehicle thefts saw an 8.7 percent dip, from 69 to 63.

Malicious damage to property cases decreased 21.4 percent, from 238 to 180.

John Counts covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Sun, Jan 20, 2013 : 6:40 p.m.

LOL. we are only 20 days into the new year. (it gets worse everyday).

Stephen Lange Ranzini

Sun, Jan 20, 2013 : 12:10 p.m.

Research that I've seen indicates that over 90% and as much as 95% of all felonies are related to people stealing to get money to buy themselves illegal or black market drugs. I wrote a column about the rise in heroin addiction and related crime in Washtenaw County (heroin is the last resort of people who get addicted to OxyContin and then run out of money; heroin is cheap and has seen a surge in low cost supply from Afghanistan): The war in Afghanistan is a complete failure on many levels, including its huge expense and that it has caused this surge in heroin supply. What would the $4 trillion we've spent on these wars since 9/11 have done if we had spent that money instead solving our problems at home? The war on drugs is another failed big government solution that needs to be radically reconsidered. While I do believe that public safety needs to be enhanced because the current level of crime is too high, that is not a "solution" to the problem, but just a band aid. Meanwhile the size of the underlying drug problem and drug economy grows every year and there is more crime to steal the money to buy the drugs. Throwing ever more money and police resources at it won't win this "war" either and we've now got 40 years of experience to know that's true. It's time to try a new strategy! We need a public debate on what the best alternative path forward would be.

Stephen Lange Ranzini

Sun, Jan 20, 2013 : 10:02 p.m.

@BasicBob: The vast majority of the heroin produced in the entire world is still grown in Afghanistan. The supply routes for Afghan heroin used by criminal gangs and other parties involved in this illegal trade in some cases may also come through South America and Mexico, since the Mexican border is the easiest route for smuggling into the U.S.

Basic Bob

Sun, Jan 20, 2013 : 2:24 p.m.

Except our heroin doesn't come from Afghanistan. It comes from Mexico and South America. Afghani heroin ends up in China, India, Iran, and Russia.


Sun, Jan 20, 2013 : 2:21 a.m.

Did Mr. Schick get a promotion, last time I checked Matt Harshberger was the police chief?

John Counts

Sun, Jan 20, 2013 : 2:09 p.m.

Matt Harshberger is the director of public safety, Gordy Schick is the police chief.


Sat, Jan 19, 2013 : 10:40 p.m.

Legalize drugs and that takes care of that problem...............using that logic you could legalize break-ins also and crime would go away almost entirely.................this is the same logic that states unemployment payments are good for the economy (nancy pelosi) and that the cost curve will go down on health care by adding millions of people into the health care system, cutting medicare, and having otrhers pay for it (Mr. Obama)


Mon, Jan 21, 2013 : 2:04 p.m.

Middle America - you really believe that drugs have no victims? you have no credibility with that statement. You are stating how you wish it was not actually how it is. I don't know the statistics but I would bet that there are more drug related victims thatn home invasions victims anually


Sun, Jan 20, 2013 : 1:51 p.m.

It is PRESIDENT Obama. Not Mr. Obama, President Obama.

Middle America

Sun, Jan 20, 2013 : 6:01 a.m.

Comparing victimless crimes to home invasions makes no sense. How can you not see the immense difference?


Sat, Jan 19, 2013 : 10:18 p.m.

I'd be interested in seeing how many of the "narcotics" violations and drug infractions are just weed busts related to overzealous focus on medical marijuana users or busts on people who don't have the right paperwork for mmj. possession...

Detached Observer

Sat, Jan 19, 2013 : 10:13 p.m.

There has definitely been a surge of heroin use in this town. I know a couple of people who have been hurt by it.

Basic Bob

Sat, Jan 19, 2013 : 9:55 p.m.

Homicide is back up in 2013. Hopefully it stops at 1.


Sat, Jan 19, 2013 : 9:24 p.m.

Hmmmn...narcotics and breakins...hmmmn Definitely related don'tcha think? Anyway, congrats to Mr. Schick for an overal improvement - at least statistically - in public safety.


Sat, Jan 19, 2013 : 7:04 p.m.

I don't consider a 20% increase in home invasions good news. More drug use, more home invasions.

Rick Stevens

Sat, Jan 19, 2013 : 6:43 p.m.

The statistics would be far more valid if based on a per capita basis. As Pittsfield's population grows then the raw numbers of crimes will also increase. But that doesn't mean much if the population grew much faster. Then again this is just another 're-print' of news prepared by someone else by so I guess we shouldn't expect too much.

John Counts

Sat, Jan 19, 2013 : 10:05 p.m.

I'm not sure what you mean by 're-print' here, Rick Stevens. Pittsfield Township police provided me with the raw data and I crunched the numbers and wrote the story. I do think it would be interesting to factor in population growth and will consider doing it with these types of statistic stories in the future.


Sat, Jan 19, 2013 : 5:08 p.m.

narcotic-related violations and home invasions. REALLY MAKE ME SLEEP WELL. that not good at all. more people are dying of overdoses .

Ricardo Queso

Sat, Jan 19, 2013 : 4:26 p.m.

It would be interesting to see a further breakdown based on either side of Carpenter Road.

Basic Bob

Sun, Jan 20, 2013 : 4:53 a.m.

More than half the people live east of Carpenter. More than half the crime happens here, also. Also I would bet more than half of the police resources are dedicated to the two to three square miles where the majority of people live in the township. Of course you were thinking of something else. The 2011 murder, the knife fight at the Burger King, and the driveway self-defense shooting all happened west of Carpenter Road. Perhaps the higher number of minor crimes reported actually makes the east side safer to live in.