Friday, July 01, 2005

Solano County crime rate continues steady drop

FAIRFIELD - State Department of Justice officials delivered largely good news Thursday about crime across California and more specifically, Solano County.

The positive news is that violent crimes such as homicide, aggravated assault and rape declined across the state by 5.2 percent in 2004 over the previous year.

The bad news - and the area where a lot of police leaders are now turning their attention - involves property crime such as burglary and car theft. Statewide, these kinds of crimes edged up in 2004 over 2003 by 0.9 percent.

The data was contained in the state DOJ's annual report titled "Crime in California, 2004 Advance Release."

"This report tells a good law enforcement story," California Attorney General Bill Lockyer said in a press statement. "Despite budget deficits and limited resources, our communities and families are safer from violent crime."

Across Solano County, the statistical crime picture is even brighter.

Overall violent crimes in the county (homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault) show a 9.9 percent reduction in 2004 over 2003. These numbers were led by a 19.3 percent reduction in forcible rapes.

The numbers of property crimes in the county are rolling back, too, the DOJ statistics showed.

In 2004 fewer Solano County residents had their cars stolen. Car thefts dropped by 20.2 percent over the previous year.

DOJ numbers also showed there were fewer petty thefts in the county last year with overall larceny declining by 22 percent, with thefts valued at $400 or less dropping by 24.1 percent.

Finally, the number of arson crimes in the county declined by 35.9 percent in 2004 over the previous year.

Reach Jeff Mitchell at 427-6977 or

Solano County crime at a glance
County population 2003: 416,500
County population 2004: 419,548
Overall violent crimes in 2003: 2,226
Overall violent crimes in 2004: 2,005
9.9 percent reduction
Overall property crimes in 2003: 7,713
Overall property crimes in 2004: 6,830
11.4 percent reduction
Source: California Department of Justice

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