Violent crime on the rise in Rapid City

Pennington County State's Attorney Mark Vargo pointed to violent crime that's on the rise in Rapid City and putting stress on the Justice System.

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Violent crime is rising in Pennington County.

The Pennington County State’s attorney, delivered the news at Thursday’s County Commission Budget meeting.

Pennington County State’s Attorney Mark Vargo says that from 2018 through 2020,  the number of murders more than doubled from six to 14, robberies nearly doubled from 67 to 120 all while aggravated assaults and burglaries jumped almost 60 percent.

While some repeat offenders have re-appeared in court during those two years, Vargo points to the ongoing meth problem that creates more violent offenders.

“We continue to have a methamphetamine epidemic in Pennington, and in South Dakota generally, and that methamphetamine is a leading indicator of violence,” Vargo said. “If you have a higher methamphetamine numbers, you’re going to have higher violent numbers and we’re dealing with the after effects of that.”

Vargo also says that Rapid City’s and the county’s steps towards rehabilitating some of the offenders is a process that won’t happen overnight.

Categories: Crime, Local News, South Dakota News