County Crime Continues Four-Year Retreat

Homicides down 36 percent from last year and 50 percent compared with 2005.

UPDATED (9:16a.m.)—Crime in Baltimore County decreased by more than 7 percent in 2010, according to county officials.

The announcement, made during a Thursday news conference in Towson, included decreases in eight major categories. Most of the decreases represented the lowest crime statistics in at least 20 years in each category. One category, burglaries, fell to its lowest levels since 1967, according to police.

County Executive Kevin Kamenetz said the decreases in crime compared to 2009 are "felt in the lives of every resident of Baltimore County."

Crime in eight major categories decreased in 2010, according to statistics expected to be released this morning by county officials

Rape, theft and arson all showed double-digit decreases, according to statistics compiled by the Baltimore County Police Department.

The announcement Thursday comes about a month after Kamenetz, Johnson and others announced that homicides in the county decreased from 31 in 2009 to 20 last year—a drop of nearly 36 percent.

Not all of the news is good.

While the number of rapes reported in the county dropped by 17 percent, so did the arrest rate, which decreased by about 12 percent. In Cockeysville, the number of reported rapes increased from one in 2009 to 13 in 2010.

Use of guns and knives in aggravated assaults increased by 8.5 and 3.9 percent, respectively.

2010 Crime Statistics.Source: Baltimore County Police Department

Crime Percentage
Arrest Rate Trend Homicides -35.5% 38.9% Rape -17.1% -12.2% Robbery -9.2% 1.2% Aggravated Assault -1.9% 1.4% Burglary -4.5% 0.1% Theft -7.5%
-3% Motor Vehicle Theft -22.7% -1% Arson -14.4% -5.4%

Overall, homicide has dropped 50 percent in Baltimore County since 2005.

In October, then-County Executive James T. Smith Jr. announced that homicides during the first six months of the 2010 .

The decreases of the past year are part of a four-year trend that has produced some of the lowest crime rates in more than three decades.

The decreases come during one of the most severe economic downturns since 1929. Most of the decreases represented the lowest crime statistics in each respective category in at least 20 years.

Source: Baltimore County Police Department

Homicide Lowest reported since 1976 Rape Lowest reported since 1974
Robbery Lowest reported since1985 Aggravated Assault Lowest reported since 1976
Burglary Lowest reported since 1967
Theft Lowest reported since 2005
Motor Vehicle Theft Lowest reported since 1970
Arson Lowest reported since 1984

Other numbers of note:

  • Homicides in 2010 decreased by 36 percent compared to 2009, while arrests went up by nearly 39 percent. The clearance rate for all 20 homicides last year was 100 percent.
  • The clearance rate for rape is 83.3 percent. Police report that the victim knew her attacker in about 64 percent of the cases. The Cockeysville precinct showed the greatest increase in rape—13 in 2010 compared to one in 2009.
  • Firearm robberies decreased by 9.7 percent or 57 cases. Highway robberies decreased by more than 10 percent or 79 cases; bank robberies decreased by 25 percent or 10 cases; commercial robberies decreased by more than 26 percent or 85 cases.
  • Aggravated assault cases fell 437 cases below a previous five-year average, but use of guns or knives in such crimes increased by nearly 9 and 4 percent, respectively.
  • Residential burglary decreased by 107 cases or more than 4 percent. Non-residential burglary decreased by 86 cases or more than 5 percent. In 25 percent of the burglaries, no force was required to enter the home or building.
  • Shoplifting decreased by 1,234 cases or about 21 percent. Theft from vehicles and the theft of vehicle accessories or parts decreased by nearly 1 percent and 6 percent, respectively.
  • Theft of vehicles declined but so did the rate of recovery and the value of the vehicles stolen. The vehicle recovery rate in 2010 dropped to about 79 percent—a 1 percent decrease from 2009. The value of vehicles stolen decreased by nearly 24 percent. Arrests dropped by 3 percent. Arrests for motor vehicle theft dropped 1 percent.
  • Arson fell 102 cases below a previous five-year average. Motor vehicle arson accounted for more than 27 percent of all reported arson cases.
Buzz Beeler May 06, 2011 at 06:44 PM
Robert, very good. Informative. Now that is what I call an insightful response. Comparison is good. Provides a different prospective.
Stan Modjesky May 06, 2011 at 08:40 PM
Thanks, Bryan and Tyler. I love the responsiveness of all the people at Patch.
stein May 06, 2011 at 09:03 PM
I must applaud the wonderful job that the Baltimore County Police have done. If you need to call them, they are there. On the other hand, it is disturbing how many police Jurisdictions, which include Baltimore County and Baltimore City do everything they can trying to lessen, minimize or even do not report crimes and situations to attempt to keep the numbers down. In many respects, this skews the statistics. Even though their possible funding from State and Federal Governments may be affected by their increased crime rate, this is no way to fix the outcomes
rayparkville May 07, 2011 at 12:40 AM
Come on Buzz. You can say something good about Baltimore County government now. I know you have it in you.
Buzz Beeler May 07, 2011 at 03:02 AM
Ray, I just did. Read my blog on the Optimist Dundalk Officer of the Year Awards. I gotta get over there as I have to figure how to close a can of worms. Come one come all and take a gander. I never gave a thought to the issue at hand regarding this story. I think I have just figured out the answer.


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