Violent crime up in county for second year

Property crimes also increased locally in 2010, FBI reports, but killings, rapes down

By Tom Vogt, Columbian science, military & history reporter



For the second year in a row, violent crimes in Vancouver rose slightly to continue bucking a national trend, according to preliminary statistics released late Monday afternoon by the FBI.

Property crimes in Vancouver also increased in 2010, due mostly to a 12 percent rise in reported thefts and larcenies.

Crime in Vancouver

Violent crimes

2010: 671

2009: 656

Property crimes

2010: 6,544

2009: 5,944

Source: FBI

According to data gathered from more than 13,000 law enforcement agencies, violent crimes in 2010 decreased 5.5 percent in the U.S. while property crimes dropped 2.8 percent.

It is the fourth consecutive year of declines in violent crimes in the United States.

Vancouver’s total of violent crimes — murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault — increased to 671 in 2010, up 15 from the 656 violent crimes reported the previous year. That 2009 total also was higher than the 2008 total of 605 violent crimes. There were no murders in Vancouver in 2010, however, after six murders were committed in 2009.

The number of reported rapes dropped to 112 in 2010 from 117 the previous year. Increases were reported in robberies (173, up from 158 robberies in 2009) and in aggravated assaults (386, up from 375 assaults in 2009.)

Vancouver’s increase in property crimes also ran counter to downward national trends, with a total of 6,544 burglaries, larcenies-thefts, motor vehicle thefts and arsons: That was an increase of 600 property crimes above the 2009 total of 5,944.

However, the biggest share of that increase was in one category, with 4,682 larcenies and thefts; that’s an increase of 523 over the 2009 total of 4,159.

Larcenies-thefts also is the category that includes car prowls, a crime that is on the rise as more smash-and-grab thieves help themselves to valuables that have been left in parked cars.

Other property crime statistics for 2010: 48 arsons, one fewer than 49 in 2009; 923 motor vehicle thefts, 24 more than 899 in 2009; and 939 burglaries, 53 more than 886 in 2009.

Vancouver police officials were not available for comment because of the timing of the late-afternoon news release.

Because of changes in reporting practices, statistics for Portland weren’t comparable to 2009 data, according to the FBI. Portland’s violent-crime total was 3,051 in 2010, including 22 murders. Portland’s property crimes totaled 28,391 last year.

With a population of 167,264, the number of Vancouver crimes per 1,000 residents was 43.1.

Portland (with a population of 564,392) had a rate of 55.7 crimes per 1,000 residents.

The preliminary FBI report covered cities with populations of 100,000 or more; it didn’t include crime statistics for the Clark County Sheriff’s Office or any other local police departments. The preliminary numbers will be updated later this year.