Sep 13, 2010 7:47 PM by David Ortiviz

Violent crimes drop across nation, locally

The Federal Bureau of Investigation says violent crime across the country has dropped for the third straight year. Murders are down 7%; robberies down 8%; assaults dipped 4%; and car thefts dropped a whopping 17%. Those numbers are in tune with crime statistics in Southern Colorado, which seem to show despite the recession fewer people are breaking the law.

"Our crime statistics pretty much mirror the national statistics, we're down in most areas," said Deputy Chief John Ercul, with the Pueblo Police Department.

There were fewer homicides in both cities. Colorado Springs had 15 homicides in 2009, down nine from 2008. Pueblo had 6 homicides in 2009, down five from 2008.

Car thefts were also down. In Colorado Springs there were 1048 motor vehicle thefts in 2009, down 6% from 2008. In Pueblo there were 345 motor vehicle thefts in 2009, down 33% from 2008.

Overall thefts also dropped--10% in Colorado Springs (10,340 thefts in 2009) and 36% percent in Pueblo (1,736 thefts in 2009).

"Thefts are down, thefts are down quiet a bit, that's a little bit surprising in this economy," said Ercul.

Pueblo Police say it's somewhat unusual for crime to dip during a recession. however, officers believe they're doing a better job at preventing crimes. "I think it's because we're out there and we're aggressively working on them and we're applying some technology in some of those areas that hasn't been available in the past," said Ercul.

Not all major crimes have decreased. In Colorado Springs rapes and robberies were up slightly in 2009. Rapes increased 2.4% from 334 in 2008 to 342 in 2009. Robberies were up 1.5% from 517 in 2008 to 525 in 2009.

In Pueblo assaults and burglaries were up slightly in 2009. Assaults were up from 662 in 2008 to 688 in 2009. Burglaries were up from 1,259 in 2008 to 1,311 in 2009.

All other types of major crime in Colorado Springs and Pueblo went down in 2009.


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