Violent Crime in St. Louis Lowest in 43 Years, Say Police; Vehicle Thefts at Near 50-Year Low

Perhaps the tape should read: Crime seen?
Perhaps the tape should read: Crime seen?
St. Louis police are out with their official crime statistics for 2010.  According to the department, Part I Crimes (homicides, rapes, robbery, assault, burglaries, larcenies, vehicle thefts, arson) dropped 9.2 percent compared to 2010. But here's where the statistics get really interesting: the 33,782 Part I Crimes reported in in 2010 are the lowest number since 1967.

In a statement yesterday, Chief Dan Isom credited the drop in crime to the work of his officers, assistance from neighborhood watch groups and improved crime analysis. "These decreases show we're headed in the right direction," said Isom.

Still, the chief encouraged the public to do more to aid police, calling residents the city's "greatest crime-fighting resource."

"I continue to urge citizens to report crimes, to talk to police when you have information about a crime and to assist with prosecutions," said Isom. "The 'stop snitching' mentality has not benefitted anyone except for the criminals who avoid arrest or prosecution when victims or witnesses stay silent."

Here are the specific crime tallies of 2010, broken down by type of incident:

Violent Crime (Crimes Against Persons) decreased 15.6% compared to 2009, from 7,353 to 6,205. And 2010 had the fewest violent crime reports since 1967 when 6,020 violent crimes were reported.

Violent Crimes for 2010

Homicides: 144, up 0.7 percent compared to 143 in '09
Forcible Rapes: 188, down 25 percent from the 250 in '09
Robberies: 2,125, down 22 percent from the 2,721 in '09 and lowest since 1963
Aggravated Assault: 3,748 down 11 percent from 4,239 in '09

Property Crimes for 2010
Vehicle Thefts: 4,263, down 14 percent compared to 4,962 in '09. Police say that's the fewest number of car thefts since 1961! Still, that's an average of 11.6 cars stolen each day in St. Louis. Pretty impressive, I'd say.
Burglaries: 6,705, down two percent from 6,834 in '09
Larcenies (aka shoplifting, stealing, simple thefts): 16,356 down eight percent from 17,799 in '09. However "car clouting" (larceny from vehicles) actually increased 5.6 percent in 2010.

So, based on these numbers, will St. Louis retain its title next year as America's Most Dangerous City? Guess we'll have to wait and see on that one. It's worth noting, however, that violent crime is down nationwide in 2010.

As we've done the last few years, I plan to get additional homicide data from the St. Louis. If 2010 is anything like recent years, at least one-third of victims will be between the ages of 13 and 21.
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