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Digest

Overall crime rate decreases in third quarter

By Times Staff Writer
Published October 21, 2007


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ST. PETERSBURG

According to the Uniform Crime Rate (UCR) report for the third quarter of 2007, St. Petersburg's overall crime rate has decreased 4.1 percent compared to the same period last year.

That's good news, considering most large cities in Florida and the nation are struggling with a recent uptick in crime.

The city's property crimes are down 5.2 percent so far this year, with the largest decrease (17.9 percent) in auto thefts. Most auto thieves are juveniles, and we redoubled our efforts during the summer, arresting many known auto thieves whenever they violated their probation.

It also appears that more residents are using antitheft devices to protect their property.

Violent crimes have been relatively flat this year, up just 0.3 percent over last year. Homicides are up slightly this year (24), compared with 21 in all of 2006, but we know that most of the large cities in the nation and in Florida are seeing the same trend. Everyone agrees that even one homicide is one too many. Generally, most cases in St. Petersburg involve a dispute between a victim and a known assailant that escalates into a deadly conflict.

There have been very few cases where a victim was randomly targeted or killed during another crime.

Working together, we can continue to decrease the crime rate. Residents should report suspicious activity by calling (727) 893-7780.

People who want to remain anonymous can call our Tip Line at (727) 892-5000. And if you are not involved in a Neighborhood Crime Watch, call Officer Johnny Harris at (727) 893-7559.

William Proffitt, St. Petersburg police spokesman

[Last modified October 20, 2007, 22:41:53]


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