Crime in Moab is on the increase, according to new statistics just released by Moab Police Chief Alan West.

West said crime increased 8.5 percent in 1991, over 1990 figures.The good news is that violent crimes decreased during 1991. The number of violent crimes dropped from 79 to 68.

The jump in total crime came from an increase in thefts and a big increase in juvenile substance abuse.

Reported thefts jumped from 208 to 265 in 1991. Much of that theft was crimes of opportunity. "A lot of victims of theft in Moab were our visitors," said West.

With a little common sense, West believes these thefts can be prevented.

West said the majority of crimes in Moab are committed by a small group of young adults and teenagers.

One other crime statistic on the increase in substance abuse. "Alcohol seems to be the drug of choice right now."

The good news is that by national standards, substance abuse in Moab is below average.