More larcenies, more assaults and more auto thefts.
Those were contributors to a slight rise in Fort Waynes crime rate in 2011, according to Police Chief Rusty York, whose department released its annual report this week.
But those same crimes – along with more robberies – are the driving forces behind a sharp increase in the citys crime rate through the first four months of this year, York said.
We seem to be up in almost everything, York said.
The departments uniform crime statistics – which track the rates of homicide, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, larceny, vehicle theft and arson per 100,000 people – show that crime rose 2 percent in 2011 from 2010.
Statistics for this year show that, through April, the crime rate is up 16 percent compared to this point a year ago.
What to make of this?
To York, its hard to draw a lot of hard and fast conclusions over statistics covering such a short time frame.
A lot of the crimes that are on the rise seem to be ones of opportunity, he said.
Larcenies, also known as thefts, are up because people are stealing things out of unlocked cars. Vehicle thefts seem to be up but roughly 80 percent of those are stolen mopeds – not cars or trucks.
And despite a spate of pharmacy holdups since last year, most reported robberies involve people – not businesses who are targets.
To put things in perspective, when you say burglaries are up 15 percent, well that number ends up being 73 more reported burglaries, York said. And some of those may not be burglaries at all, but people reporting things theyre renting as missing.
Homicides are also up through May. There were eight during that period in 2011. There have been 14 so far this year.
And while assaults and batteries are also rising, part of that is because of recent changes to state law that makes some batteries that were misdemeanors now felonies, York said.
Records also show that more batteries, especially those involving domestic violence, are possibly being reported.
Fort Wayne polices domestic violence unit handled just over 300 cases in 2010, according to the departments annual report. That number jumped to 470 last year, the report said.
What were seeing is were getting more referrals from parole and probation departments, York said. Theyre seeing their clients, seeing that there are signs someone may be involved in domestic violence and theyre contacting us to investigate.
Still, while the crime numbers for the first four months of this year dont look spectacular right now, York said his department is focusing on those crimes that are on the rise and that its hard to take anything away from a small sample size.
I like to compare it to somebody who works in sales, he said. Maybe you have a good year and then a not-so-good year. You really have to look at a longer comparison to get any trends.