While the economy and health care still dominate much of the discussion over coffee and eggs at breakfast spots in and around Floyd, people also talk about the increasing problem of crime.

“This used to a be a place where people left their doors unlocked and keys in their cars,” one long-time resident said the other day. “Now I bolt the door and lock my car even when it’s in the garage.”

In his monthly reports to the Board of Supervisors, Sheriff Shannon Zeman talks about the increase of crime in the county.  Break-ins are on rise. So are thefts of cars, tractors and lawn care equipment.

A year ago, a three-piece, 1200-lb dragon sculpture disappeared from our front lawn. Sheriff’s investigator Jeff Dalton said at the time it was probably a prank and would reappear.  It didn’t.

Thefts from cars have become common occurrences.  One Floyd woman said a pair of sunglasses were stolen from the dashboard of her car recently. Others steal radios, GPS units and other items.

In court, I see more and more cases involving theft of property. Often, people steal from their neighbors and then hock what they steal at pawn shops.  Drive-aways at gas pumps have become so common that some station owners now insist on cash first.

Some blame the increase in crime on the influx of newcomers, particularly illegal immigrants from south of the border.

But the cases that come before the court most often involve those with common Floyd County surnames.