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Overall, crime down in first four months of 2013

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Saturday, June 1, 2013, at 9:32 p.m.
  • Updated Sunday, June 2, 2013, at 6:36 a.m.

For the first four months of 2013, overall crime in Wichita is down when compared to the same time period last year, a police official said.

Between Jan. 1 and April 30, total Part 1 crimes — murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assaults, burglary, larceny and auto theft — dipped 3.5 percent from the same period in 2012, Wichita police Capt. Rusty Leeds said.

Part 2 offenses — simple assaults, vandalism, drug violations and other crimes — were down 7.7 percent.

When looking at violent crimes by offense type for the same time periods, Leeds said homicides citywide were down by 44 percent, rapes by 13 percent and aggravated assaults by 10 percent.

Robberies jumped 11 percent citywide, with the spike fueled mostly by two groups of serial robbers striking businesses across town, Leeds said. He added that arrests have been made in those cases.

Of the other three Part 1 offenses — property crimes — burglary had dropped 4.2 percent for the first four months of 2013 over the same period last year and larceny (theft) had decreased by 3.7 percent, Leeds said.

Auto thefts, however, ticked up 3.5 percent — with 537 reported from January to April, compared with 519 for the same months in 2012, Leeds said.

He attributed the increase in auto thefts to people leaving their vehicles running, but unattended, during frigid weather earlier this year.

“It will level out during the summer, if not drop below last year because people won’t be warming their cars,” he said.

Leeds said property offenses tend to drive jumps or dips in overall crime rates. He also said statistics assessed over short time periods may not give an accurate picture of crime trends.

Of the apparent decrease in crime seen so far this year, Leeds said: “We’re hoping that trend continues.”

Reach Amy Renee Leiker at 316-268-6644 or aleiker@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @amyreneeleiker.

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