Juvenile arrests spiked in December in Queen Creek

By Richard Dyer
Twitter: @RHDyer
Posted 4/1/20

There were nearly as many juvenile arrests in December in Queen Creek as there were of adult suspects, the Town Council was told recently.

Eighteen juveniles and 25 adults were arrested the last …

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Juvenile arrests spiked in December in Queen Creek


There were nearly as many juvenile arrests in December in Queen Creek as there were of adult suspects, the Town Council was told recently.

Eighteen juveniles and 25 adults were arrested the last month of 2019, according to a presentation on crime statistics by Capt. Greg Lugo of Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office District 6.

“Yes, there was an increase there. If you look at the last month or two, in December, compared to the rest,” Capt. Lugo said to the council April 1.

“If I remember correctly, we were averaging one juvenile arrest every about three-point-something days in 2018 and we’re at one juvenile arrest every about five or six days. So there was a peak, I believe, in December,” he said.

A total of 362 adults and 68 juveniles were arrested in 2019 by MCSO in Queen Creek, according to a presentation he gave to the council for discussion only, with no vote or other action.

Arrests by MCSO in Queen Creek by month in 2019 were:

  • January: Three juveniles and 22 adults.
  • February: Four juveniles and 25 adults.
  • March: Four juveniles and 25 adults.
  • April: Six juveniles and 26 adults
  • May: Seven juveniles and 24 adults.
  • June: One juvenile and 27 adults.
  • July: Five juveniles and 28 adults.
  • August: Seven juveniles and 41 adults.
  • September: Four juveniles and 46 adults.
  • October: Five juveniles and 46 adults.
  • November: Four juveniles and 27 adults.
  • December: 18 juveniles and 25 adults.

Vice Mayor Julia Wheatley asked about the types of arrests.

“As far as the spike in the juvenile arrests, are the arrests all different categories or are there specifics? Because that was a considerable increase,” she said.

Some are suspended driver’s license arrests, Capt. Lugo said.

“Because they do have their license technically for two years before they graduate to the adult level,” he said.

The top-three juvenile charges by MCSO in Queen Creek for 2019 were 25 for underage consumption of alcohol, 18 for shoplifting --- removal of goods and 18 for assault. The top-three adult charges last year were 72 for warrants; 66 for driving with a suspended, revoked or canceled license; and 40 for driving under the influence of liquor, drugs vapors or a combo, according to Capt. Lugo’s presentation.

MCSO now, police force soon

MCSO District 6 – Queen Creek is the town’s current law-enforcement provider, with offices at 20727 E. Civic Parkway.

The town has contracted with MCSO for law-enforcement services since 1990, growing from a quarter of one patrol beat to six beats. From the start of the contract, Queen Creek has grown from just a few thousand residents to more than 52,000, according to a comprehensive town-staff study on law enforcement.

The council recently voted for the town to form its own municipal police department, setting up an 18-month transition from contracting with MCSO for law enforcement.

2019 statistics

The top-three, in-custody charges by MCSO in the Town of Queen Creek last year, for both adults and juveniles, were: 81 for warrants; 20 for assault; and tied, 10 for disorderly conduct --- fighting, and 10 for assault --- touched to injure.

The top-three, cite-and-release charges in 2019 for all ages were: 61 driving with a suspended, revoked or canceled license; 28 for driving under the influence of liquor, drugs, vapors or combo; and 24 for driving under the influence with a blood-alcohol-content level of .08 or more.

The top-three referral/submittal charges last year for all ages were: 24 for disorderly conduct --- fighting, 22 for assault and 20 for shoplifting --- removal of goods.

Loud neighbors disturbing made the top 10 list for calls for service in 2019 in the Town of Queen Creek. Ranked, they are:

  • Welfare check, 1,430.
  • Vehicle crash with no injuries, 1,150).
  • All suspicious activity, 1,015.
  • False burglar alarms, 822.
  • Citizen/motorist assist, 481.
  • Traffic hazard, 436.
  • Civil action, 290.
  • Theft, 201.
  • Loud neighbors disturbing, 183.
  • Attempt to locate, 138.

Total calls for service increased last year by 9%, according to the slide presentation by Capt. Lugo.

The number of calls with the percentage increase for 2010-19 are:

  • 12,057 for 2019, up 9% from 2018.
  • 11,029 for 2018, up 11% from 2017.
  • 9,778 for 2017, up 8% from 2016.
  • 8,974 for 2016, down 2% from 2015.
  • 9,138 for 2015, up 13% from 2014.
  • 8,084 for 2014, up 14% from 2013.
  • 7,074 for 2013, down 4% from 2012.
  • 7,396 for 2012, up 5% from 2011.
  • 7,028 for 2011, up 2% from 2010.
  • 6,871 for 2010.

No live audience

When the Queen Creek Town Council on April 1 discussed the 2019 crime statistics, it was with no one in the live audience but essential staff members. The change was in response to helping slow the spread of COVID-19.

The meeting was held at the Queen Creek Community Chambers, 20727 E. Civic Parkway, and was streamed live on the town’s website and Ustream account. On the dais were Vice Mayor Wheatley and Councilmembers Jake Hoffman, Robin Benning and Emilena Turley. Mayor Gail Barney and Councilmembers Jeff Brown and Dawn Oliphant attended remotely.

Vice Mayor Wheatley thanked MCSO employees for their service to the community.

“Tell all of the men and women in uniform that we appreciate them, pray for their safety and their health. So, thank you for all that you do for the community,” she said.