Detroit— Fed up with crime, some armed Detroiters have developed itchy trigger-fingers — and Police Chief James Craig said lawbreakers are getting the message.
after a flurry of such shootings early this year, before Monday there hadn’t been a reported incident since May 4 — an indication that criminals are thinking twice about breaking into people’s houses, Craig said.
Detroit has experienced 37 percent fewer robberies in 2014 than during the same period last year, 22 percent fewer break-ins of businesses and homes, and 30 percent fewer carjackings. Craig attributed the drop to better police work and criminals being reluctant to prey on citizens who may be carrying guns.
“Criminals are getting the message that good Detroiters are armed and will use that weapon,” said Craig, who has repeatedly said he believes armed citizens deter crime. “I don’t want to take away from the good work our investigators are doing, but I think part of the drop in crime, and robberies in particular, is because criminals are thinking twice that citizens could be armed.
“I can’t say what specific percentage is caused by this, but there’s no question in my mind it has had an effect,” Craig said.
Detroit resident Al Woods, a self-described former criminal who is now an anti-violence advocate and author, agreed criminals are thinking twice about attacking citizens.
“If I was out there now robbing people these days, knowing there are a lot more people with guns, I know I’d have to rethink my game plan,” said Woods, 60.
Craig said he doesn’t believe gun ownership deters criminals from attacking other criminals. “They automatically assume another criminal is carrying,” he said. “I’m talking about criminals who are thinking of robbing a citizen; they’re less likely to do so if they think they might be armed.”