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Serious Crimes, Arrests Up In 2005, Raleigh Police Say

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Serious crime in the Capital City was on the rise last year, as were arrests, but the city's crime rate barely changed, according to numbers released Thursday by the Raleigh Police Department.

The collective number of homicides, rapes, robberies, aggravated assaults, burglaries, larcenies and motor vehicle thefts -- which make up what the department calls the Part 1 Crime Index -- in 2005 increased by 4 percent after decreasing by a total of 27.6 percent during the previous four years.

However, the city's crime rate -- the national standard used to compare the occurrence of crimes between jurisidictions of varying sizes -- stands at 4,244, slightly lower than 2004's crime rate of 4,246.

Statistics also show that the number of arrests in Raleigh increased 36 percent from previous years -- with significantly more arrests in connections with burglaries, robberies and larcenies.

"Even though the overall increase in the crime numbers was relatively small, it got our close attention," said Raleigh Police Chief Jane Perlov.

Perlov credits the hard work of officers, detectives and other police personnel in solving cases for the marked increase in arrests.

"(It) clearly reflects their efforts, and I commend them for their dedication," she said.

Perlov said that it is impossible to know right now what last year's crime statistics mean -- whether the increase is an indication of an upward trend or something else -- or how they compare to other jurisdictions.

The department said that although it was not possible to fully understand all the reasons for the increased crime, analysis of the crimes did produce some findings:

  • Homicides:

    Raleigh's 20 homicides in 2005 closely match the 10-year average of 20.4, with disputes being the most common motive and firearms as the most common means. Victims were much more likely to be killed by someone they knew.

    About a third of the homicides were "gang-involved," meaning that the suspect, victim or both were gang members or had significant ties to gang members. None of the homicides is known to have been "gang-related," meaning that the crime occurred to further the purposes of a gang.

  • Rape:

    In about 75 percent of the reported 84 rapes, the victim reported knowing the attacker.

  • Robbery:

    Police noted there were marked increases in the number of both robbery suspects and robbery victims under 21 years old, with guns being used in 55 percent of the 751 reported robberies -- an increase of 4 percent from 2004 that stems from street robberies.

  • Aggravated Assault:

    Even though the number of aggravated assaults, 1,183, was up by 6.45 percent, the number of shooting incidents and shooting victims were down -- incidents by about 21 percent and victims by about 18 percent.

  • Burglary:

    Both commercial and residential burglaries were up in 2005 with 3,034 being reported.

  • Larceny:

    The number was down slightly from 2004 -- 8,452, but remained the most frequently reported Part I crime in Raleigh.

  • Motor Vehicle Theft:

    Reported vehicle thefts was down with 998 reported.

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