Rexburg has been named the third-safest college town in the United States, according to the Rexburg Chamber of Commerce website.
Captain Randy Lewis, of the Rexburg Police Department, said the police department reaches out to the city, especially the students attending BYU-Idaho, but stresses there is still crime happening in Rexburg, even with the low crime rate.
“We do have dangers here,” Lewis said. “We have crime, but we’re fortunate that we’re (in) a good place to live.”
In 2015, Rexburg had 203 theft incidences and five motor vehicle thefts, according to a study done by Neighborhood Scout, a website which gathers data and crime statistics released by the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice.
“A lot of the theft and burglaries come from students leaving their apartments unlocked, leaving their homes exposed to potential burglars looking for valuable items,” Lewis said.
One such case was reported on Feb. 1, 2016, when a man was arrested after breaking into BYU-I-approved housing and taking a laptop and other electronics, according to Local News 8.
“This problem could be greatly reduced if more students took the precautions to lock their apartments and their windows before leaving,” Lewis said.
“One of the City of Rexburg’s on-going crimes is identity theft,” according to the Rexburg Police Department Web page.
Victims of identity theft includes all ages and from all social statuses and incomes, according to the Rexburg Police Department. Students should not accept checks in the mail without first confirming with the bank that the check is valid before placing the check into a bank account.
On April 24, four juveniles were arrested for shoplifting a pair of sunglasses from Broulim’s, according to the Rexburg Police Department Web page, making local businesses affected by crime as well.
“I walked into work one morning, and there was this man attempting to steal the computers,” said Christian Parker, a supervisor for Survey Sampling International. “I approached the man, and he tried to say that he was our tech guy before quickly leaving.”
In Rexburg, 7.49 of 1000 citizens have reported theft; whereas, the national rate is 18.37 of 1000, according the Neighborhood Scout Web page.
There is a list of actions that can be taken to avoid theft, according to the Rexburg Police Department home page. Some of the steps include: surveying your home, making sure to hide or secure items that could help potential burglars, locking windows, leaving on interior lighting to make your home appear occupied, locking vehicles, removing property from your vehicle and locking it, and joining the neighborhood watch.
The population of Rexburg has grown over 60 percent since the 2000 census, increasing from 17,000 people to just over 30,000, according the census.
“Rexburg’s growth in student population and economic prosperity hasn’t translated into a spike in crime, in part because the town’s police department and BYU-I have both taken measures to curb sexual assault,” according to rexburg.org.
“Law enforcement services on campus are provided by the Rexburg Police Department, including timely response to criminal behavior and follow-up investigations of reported crimes as needed,” according to rexburg.org.