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Drug addiction blamed for crime spike in Wisconsin community

Crime in Wausau, Wisconsin has spiked dramatically over the last month, according to police lieutenant Matthew Barnes. He told local ABC affiliate WAOW that car break-ins have tripled and home burglaries have almost doubled to levels that Wausau police haven't seen in a long time. Why is this happening? Drug addiction, according to Lt. Barnes. The criminals are usually selling their stolen goods in order to feed their habits. 

"You know a heroin addict needs to have heroin every day, and when they don't have it they are willing to do just about whatever it takes in order to get that drug," Barnes told the media outlet. 

The most common illegally-obtained items like electronics usually find their way to pawn shops. While most stores require sellers to sign a contract sting that the items are not stolen, there is no way to prove whether or not this is true. Matt Hendrickson, the manager of a local pawn shop told the source he and his employees avoid buying stolen property from thieves. He said that certain behaviors like wearing sunglasses or constantly looking around will draw his suspicion. 

Hendrickson's shop works with Wausau police to recover stolen goods. It uploads everything that was purchased during the day to a website that law enforcement officials can check. Hendrickson and the police hope that this regular surveillance will discourage more theft. 

Drug addiction will cause people to behave in ways that they can't imagine. If someone you love has a substance abuse problem, now is the time to seek help. Contact Intervention Services today to learn how an experienced interventionist can help you and your family. 

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