Violent crime down, thefts up in Richmond

Posted at 12:10 AM, Jan 20, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-20 08:15:08-05

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - Richmond Police released its official crime stats for 2012 and said violent crime is at its lowest point in 40 years. According to police, the overall drop in violent crimes happened despite there being five more homicides in 2012 compared to 2011.

"It's good that violent crimes are down," Richmonder Bronwyn Hughes said.  "But we don't like to hear that property crimes are on the rise."

Police said they are seeing a spike in property crimes like shoplifting, scooter and moped thefts and people stealing from sheds and garages.

Here's how the numbers breakdown:

There were 9,194 property crimes in 2012 and 8,748 in 2011. That is a 5 percent increase.

Police said thieves breaking into unlocked cars and stealing money and computers continues to be a problem.

"It's kind of shocking to me that people would make a practice of leaving things in their cars that people can see,” Richmonder Kat Sharp said.

Authorities say 21 percent of those property crimes can be avoided if people use good crime-prevention techniques like locking all cars and removing any valuables.