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Police Department Releases 2019 Crime Statistics

The Cedar Rapids Police Department has completed a preliminary analysis of crime statistics for calendar year 2019.

Since 2013, violent crime in Cedar Rapids is down 5.6 percent. There were 392 violent crimes in 2013 (Murder and Non-Negligent Manslaughter, Sex Offenses, Forcible Rapes, Robberies, and Aggravated Assaults) compared to 370 violent crimes in 2019.

Comparing the average number of violent crimes over the past 5 years, violent crime increased 2.49 percent in 2019. While robberies were down over 23 percent compared to the 5-year average, aggravated assaults increased over 17 percent and brought the overall violent crime incidents higher.

Domestic abuse incidents were the primary factor in the increase in aggravated assaults. There was a nearly 25 percent increase in domestic abuse aggravated assaults in 2019 compared to the past 5 calendar years average.

Cedar Rapids had six murders with seven victims in 2019, which is equal to the five-year average.

Property crimes were down over 10 percent in 2019 compared to the rolling 5-year average. Of significance, burglaries were down over 8 percent compared to the average number of incidents over the past 5 years. The Police Department used several community outreach tools, including the #9PM Routine on social media to encourage residents to lock their doors. Theft of motor vehicles increased by 18 percent compared to previous averages, otherwise the property crime decrease could have been greater. The vast majority of these thefts are preventable. In many cases, the vehicle is left running unattended and unlocked in the driveway, on the street, or in front of a convenience store. Further, many vehicles stolen have the spare keys left in the vehicle. Many vehicles reported stolen are recovered in another part of the city and are located undamaged.

For vehicle thefts where the words “unlocked,” “running,” or “console” appeared in the supplements, there were 185 Theft of Motor Vehicle and 14 Operating Vehicle Without Owner Consent incidents. The yearly totals for these incidents were 389 and 55, respectively. Therefore, at least 47.6 percent of Theft of Motor Vehicle and 25.5 percent of Operating without Owner Consent incidents were vehicles left unlocked, left running or keys in the console.

An analysis of non-Part I crimes (those not reported to the FBI UCR) indicates that weapons crimes increased by approximately 28 percent. Most of this increase was driven by illegal possession of weapons.

Another category that increased the crimes against property total was Fraudulent Practice. The majority of these crimes involve the theft of checks, debit cards, or credit cards. Most of the thefts involved a purse or wallet stolen, or the checks, debit cards, or credit cards stolen during a burglary or during a theft from auto. Fraudulent use of credit cards obtained by skimming machines were not as prevalent.

One area in which the Police Department has focused on this past year was theft from vehicles. The number of thefts from vehicle was down by nearly 15 percent compared to the 5-year average. There have been several social media campaigns and community outreach efforts to encourage citizens to lock their vehicle doors and not leave valuables in plain sight. Of particular concern with thefts from vehicle is that 24 of the 628 incidents involved a firearm stolen. There were a total of 26 handguns and 2 shotguns taken from inside vehicles, and most of the vehicles were not locked.

Comparing 2019 to 2018, there were 18 fewer shots fired incidents (99 incident in 2019 compared to 117 in 2018). Shots fired includes incidents in which a person was injured, property was damaged, shell casings were found, surveillance video evidence, or multiple witnesses corroborate. The numbers do not include suicides or accidental discharges.
Of all the shots fired incidents, there were 9 incidents (9.1 percent) where suspects were arrested for gun-related charges. The majority of shots fired incidents involve property damage or shell casings found, and no personal injury. Nevertheless, these incidents are taken seriously and one of the reasons that the Police Department’s Gun Reduction Initiative is critical. Patrol officers and Police Community Action Team members seized 96 illegally possessed firearms from individuals in 2019. In total, the Police Department took 175 guns, with 140 of those guns taken in criminal incidents. Further, it is important to note that the solvability of shots fired cases is often predicated by cooperation of witnesses.

Overall, the continued multiple year downward trend in violent crime is encouraging. And, the double-digit decrease in property crime in 2019 compared to the 5-year average is a positive trend. The Police Department will continue partnerships with other local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, as well as community organizations, committed to reducing crime and improving safety in our neighborhoods.

For more detailed information, please visit our Statistics page at http://www.cedar-rapids.org/…/departm…/police/statistics.php

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