Kevin Valine

City sees nearly 5 percent drop in serious crime

Modesto police serve a search warrant in September, related to a homicide in May.
Modesto police serve a search warrant in September, related to a homicide in May. etracy@modbee.com

Serious crimes, including homicide, burglary and auto theft, dropped nearly 5 percent last year in Modesto compared with 2015.

The crime statistics are detailed in a report police officials presented this month to the City Council’s Great Safe Neighborhoods Committee. The report shows Modesto had 13,285 serious crimes in 2016 compared with 13,924 in 2015.

Some highlights:

▪  Homicides dropped from 25 to 13 over the two years.

▪  Auto thefts fell from 1,735 in 2015 to 1,553 in 2016.

▪  Burglaries declined from 1,639 to 1,421 over the two years.

▪  Aggravated assaults increased from 1,429 in 2015 to 1,507 in 2016.

Serious offenses are classified as Part I crimes and include rape, robbery, nonaggravated assault and larceny.

Other offenses, such as fraud, vandalism, drug violations and disorderly conducted, are classified as Part II crimes. These increased 4.5 percent, from 38,575 offenses in 2015 to 40,303 offenses in 2016.

The city report provides statistics for several offenses from 2012 to 2016, and those numbers provide additional insight.

For instance, the report shows declines in commercial and residential burglaries: There were 1,875 residential burglaries in 2012 and the number steadily dropped each year, hitting 925 residential burglaries in 2016. But other crimes have held steady. There were 450 robberies in 2012, and there were 481 robberies in 2016. The auto theft numbers have bounced around, from a high of 1,799 in 2012 to a low of 1,195 in 2015 and then 1,553 in 2016.

It’s important to remember these statistics are for crimes that have been reported to the police. And despite the drop in serious crime, Modesto officials have consistently said the city ranks high among comparable cities for crime.

Kevin Valine: 209-578-2316

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