Albemarle Police See Increase in Crime, Decrease in Arrests - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Albemarle Police See Increase in Crime, Decrease in Arrests

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According to data collected between 2012 and 2013 by the Albemarle County Police Department, arrests are down in the county - but crime is up.

Police say car break-ins are to blame for much of the increase in crime.

"There has been an increase in crime across the board. Total crime has increased about 11 percent and that's true for both violent crimes and property crimes,” said Carter Johnson, spokesperson for the Albemarle County Police Department.

There were more violent crimes last year than the year before in Albemarle - but that number doesn't compare to the increase in property crimes. In 2012, police count 1,494 property crimes, and in 2013 that number shot up to 1,660.

Police calculate a 16.5 percent increase in larcenies between the two years.

While crime numbers shot up, arrest numbers did the opposite – moving from 3,353 arrests in 2012 down to 2,990 the following year. Johnson says one person often responsible for multiple crimes is a possible explanation for an increase in crimes but decrease in arrests. 

"If two people are responsible for breaking into 20 cars, you're only going to end up with two arrests but you certainly have more cases and larcenies reported,” said Johnson.

As for violent crimes, there was one less murder in 2013, three more aggravated assaults, four more rapes, and six more robberies.

As crime is on the rise, Johnson says officers are trying to keep up with demand.

"We're always monitoring and trying to see if there's a trend and how we can sort of be more vigilant in an area if there is a string of break-ins,” said Johnson.

Forest Lakes North and Fontana neighborhoods were all hit Tuesday night with car larcenies. On Sunday and Monday nights several other residential communities, including Key West, Franklin, Mill Creek, Foxcroft and Lake Reynovia, were also hit.

Police say all of the cars targeted were unlocked.

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