Ma­jor crime down 11 per­cent

Mo­tor ve­hi­cle theft up in first three months of year

The News-Times - - FRONT PAGE - By Rob Ryser [email protected]­ 203-731-3342

DAN­BURY — Ma­jor crime is down 11 per­cent for the first three months of the year, ac­cord­ing the lat­est monthly report by the city po­lice depart­ment.

Crime in eight cat­e­gories from ar­son to theft de­creased in the first quarter of 2019 over the same three-month pe­riod last year.

A to­tal of 252 ma­jor crimes were re­ported in the first three months of 2019, com­pared to 285 ma­jor crimes in the first quarter of last year.

One in­di­vid­ual crime cat­e­gory to watch con­tin­ues to be mo­tor ve­hi­cle theft, which is up 53 per­cent over the same three-month pe­riod in 2018. Mo­tor ve­hi­cle theft rose from

15 the first three months of 2018 to 23 in the same pe­riod in 2019, po­lice said.

“Mo­tor ve­hi­cle theft does con­tinue to be a prob­lem statewide, and some of it is at­trib­ut­able to ju­ve­niles,” po­lice Chief Pa­trick Ri­den­hour said. “But we are still hav­ing prob­lems with ve­hi­cles be­ing left un­locked with keys or key fobs in­side.”

Last year, a rise in mo­tor ve­hi­cle thefts drove the ma­jor crime rate up 5 per­cent over

2017. It was an un­usual year for a city of­ten cited as one of Con­necti­cut’s safest.

“Dan­bury’s crime num­bers are re­mark­ably sta­ble, even though in­di­vid­ual cat­e­gories may go up and down,” Dan­bury Mayor Mark Boughton said on Tues­day. “We are the safest city with a pop­u­la­tion over 60,000 in Con­necti­cut.”

Dan­bury is among the state’s fastest­grow­ing ci­ties, at 85,000 peo­ple.

Each month, the po­lice depart­ment sub­mits to the City Coun­cil the num­ber of homi­cides, rapes, rob­beries, assaults, bur­glar­ies, thefts, mo­tor ve­hi­cle thefts and ar­sons. The num­bers are not fi­nal un­til they are sub­mit­ted to the state at the end of the year.

The first-quarter statis­tics show that rape, rob­bery and as­sault were all down com­pared to last year dur­ing the same pe­riod. Among prop­erty crimes, theft was down sub­stan­tially — from 225 theft crimes in the first three months of 2018 to 185 in the first quarter of 2019, a de­crease of 18 per­cent.

“This is good news, but we will con­tinue to do our best to stay on top of things,” Ri­den­hour said.


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