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Published Sat, Nov 03, 2012 08:00 PM
Modified Fri, Nov 02, 2012 08:57 PM

Violent crimes down, property crimes up in Clayton

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- ajames@newsobserver.com

CLAYTON -- The Federal Bureau of Investigation reported a decrease in the number of crimes across the nation. But that trend doesn’t exactly match the picture in Clayton.

Locally, violent crime has decreased, but Clayton police report an increase in the number of property crimes from 2010 to 2011.

Nationally, the number of property crimes has decreased in each of the past two years. In Clayton, the number of property crimes has gone up. According to a 2011 crime report compiled by the Clayton Police Department, there was a 4.4 percent increase in property crimes from 2010 to 2011. Property crimes include burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. Nationally, there was a 0.5 percent drop in property crime since 2010 and an 8.3 percent drop since 2007.

The crime report released by the Clayton police suggests the increase is partly due to dozens of reports of thefts from unlocked cars. There has also been an increase in reports of recyclable metal thefts.

“(That) may be attributable in part to the effect of the recent economic downturn,” report writers said. The stolen recyclables can be sold for a large profit. Last month, the owner of a construction site at 84 Johnson Estate Road reported to police that someone stole $40,000 worth of copper wiring from the site.

The number of reported crimes in Clayton has increased by 3.2 percent since 2010, and the increase is largely due to the high number of property crimes, according to the police report.

Crime decreases

Violent crimes reported in Clayton decreased by four, or 16.7 percent in the past two years. Both the police records and the FBI define violent crimes as murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft.

One violent crime that has decreased nationally and locally is the number of aggravated assaults. Though aggravated assaults made up the highest number of violent crimes reported nationally, the number of cases decreased. In 2011, there were an estimated 751,131 aggravated assaults nationwide, a 3.9 percent decrease compared with data from 2010 and 15.7 percent less than 2002.

In Clayton, there were 13 aggravated assaults in 2010 compared to 8 in 2011.

The number of reported rapes has also decreased locally and nationally. There were two reported rapes in Clayton last year, a decrease from three reported rapes a year earlier, and an increase from one reported rape in 2009. Nationally, there was a 2.5 percent decrease in the number of reported rapes. The FBI reported that the rate of rapes reported in 2011 was 52.7 per 100,000 females.

Overall there has been a 3.2 percent increase in crimes reported in Clayton in the past two years, which can be attributed to the increase in property crime, according the the report from Clayton police.

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