Violent crime declines; property crime increases in Columbia

Saturday, June 7, 2008 | 8:10 p.m. CDT; updated 12:19 a.m. CST, Wednesday, November 26, 2008

COLUMBIA — Data presented to the City Council by Columbia police showed that overall violent crime is down, while overall property crime rose dramatically between January and April.

The data indicated that overall violent crime decreased by 28 percent from 166 incidents in 2007 to 119 incidents this year.

Of the reported crime categories, only robbery increased from last year.

Meanwhile, property crime rose by about 35 percent from 833 incidents last year to 1,128 incidents this year over the four-month period.

At a retreat Friday for City Council members and city staff, Police Chief Randy Boehm said it’s not always easy to catch up with people who commit property crimes because they are not always Columbia residents.

“Those folks are very mobile,” he said. “That’s why they’re difficult to catch a lot of times – they don’t stay in one spot.”

Of the reported property crime categories only auto theft decreased while both burglary and larceny saw triple-digit increases.

Boehm said the bait car program had been instrumental in lowering the incidence of auto theft.

“The whole idea is you’ve got a bait car sitting somewhere and you don’t know where it is, so you better think about that before you steal a vehicle,” he said.

In 2007, statistics for the entire year reflected an overall increase in crime from 2006. In particular, violent crime increased by 34 percent.

Missourian reporter Chad Day contributed to this report.

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lynn cox June 8, 2008 | 1:17 p.m.

Do you think that CCW has anything to do with the decrease in violent crime?

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