By Jeff Lehr
The Joplin Police Department revealed Thursday that a three-state property-crimes task force that was formed in April concluded operations last week after making several arrests and recovering more than $30,000 worth of stolen property.
Lt. Michael Hobson, head of the criminal investigations division of the Police Department, said the Tri-State Task Force Against an Increase in Crime was formed April 13 to address a March spike in property crimes in the area. The short-term task force concluded its joint operations Friday, although some investigations that sprang from the effort are being continued by participating agencies.
Hobson said the Joplin Police Department initiated the effort after meeting with law-enforcement officials from surrounding agencies and realizing that several suspects in crimes committed in Joplin were suspected of crimes in those jurisdictions as well.
Hobson said some of those arrested in the operation are known members of a prison gang dubbed the Joplin Honkies.
“Some of them are Joplin Honkies,” Hobson said. “The majority of them are not.”
The property crimes that were being committed do not reflect an organized gang effort, Hobson said. He said the only place the gang has any actual form of organization is within Missouri’s prison system. On the outside, the Honkies tend to be only loosely associated and “not that organized,” he said.
Hobson said Joplin saw an 80 percent increase in property crimes in March. He said most of the increase was in burglaries of businesses, thefts from vehicles and vehicle thefts. Vehicle thefts alone rose by 250 percent, he said.
Hobson said two defendants who were taken into custody in stolen-vehicle chases inside the Joplin city limits before the formation of the task force are believed to have contributed to the spike in property crimes.
By Jeff Lehr
- Joplin Metro
Longtime Democrat dies at 81
Sapp, 81, died Thursday. Funeral services were Monday at the First Presbyterian Church of Joplin. A longtime Jasper County Democratic committeewoman and volunteer, Sapp for years was secretary to the county’s central committee.
PART TWO: Joplin City Council report documents continued
As a result of a court order obtained by the Globe against the City of Joplin, and Thursday's waiving of appeal by the City Council, we have received a copy of the Thomas Loraine investigation report that led to the firing of former city manager Mark Rohr. Documents are converted for digital viewing.
The amount of documentation we received is extensive, and testimonies are continued here.
PART ONE: Joplin Globe receives copy of investigation named in court order
As a result of a court order obtained by the Globe against the City of Joplin, and Thursday's waiving of appeal by the City Council, we have received a copy of the Thomas Loraine investigation report that led to the firing of former city manager Mark Rohr. As documents are converted for digital viewing, they will be uploaded here.
In City Council race, Joplin voters elect two newcomers, three incumbents
Joplin voters rejected two incumbents who voted to fire City Manager Mark Rohr, instead electing two newcomers and returning three incumbents to the City Council who had supported Rohr.
Joplin voters reject all three charter changes
The changes were placed on the ballot by the City Council acting upon recommendations by a Charter Review Commission that met last fall.
Three incumbents returned to Carl Junction posts
Voters in the Carl Junction area on Tuesday decided leadership positions on the Carl Junction School Board and City Council.
Two new faces, one incumbent win Joplin School Board seats
The top three vote-getters for open seats on the board were Debbie Fort, with 4,765 votes; Lynda Banwart, with 4,532 votes; and incumbent Randy Steele, with 3,300 votes, according to complete but unofficial results from Jasper and Newton counties.
Joplin voters reject curbside recycling
City voters in Jasper and Newton counties cast 3,835 "no" votes and 3,466 "yes" votes on the issue, according to complete but unofficial results.
Council votes to waive appeal of court order, release full investigation
The Joplin City Council voted 6-3 Thursday night to waive an appeal of Judge David Mouton's ruling ordering the city to disclose the Rohr report and witness testimony in a controversial council investigation.
UPDATE: Police release name of murder victim; autopsy scheduled
Police have identified the man murdered in his apartment at the Housing Authority of Joplin complex as Jerry D. Loflin.
- More Joplin Metro Headlines
- Longtime Democrat dies at 81