Some crime rates up, others down
September 3, 2009
By Tim Pfarr
Rape, commercial burglary, arson and less-serious larceny rates (less than $250) are lower in the first quarter of 2009 than in the first quarter last year, according to Newcastle Police.
However, residential burglaries and aggravated assault have increased.
Comparing the first quarters of 2008 and 2009, respectively, instances of forcible rape (including attempts) decreased from one to zero; commercial burglaries decreased from six to one; low-grade larcenies decreased from 16 to eight; and arsons decreased from three to zero.
Instances of aggravated assault increased from one to two and residential burglaries increased from 11 to 17. Homicides and robberies stayed the same at zero, while more serious larcenies (more than $250) held steady with 18. Vehicle thefts also held steady at eight.
The statistics come in the wake of multiple home burglaries in the city, a theft Aug. 21, vandalism Aug. 23 and a car break-in Aug. 24.
Joseph England, 24, was recently sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for multiple crimes he committed in King County, including a residential burglary Jan. 7 in the 7500 block of 122nd Place Southeast in Lake Washington Ridge.
England pleaded guilty to 19 felonies, including auto theft, possession of a stolen vehicle, residential burglary and possession of a stolen firearm for multiple crimes. However, the Jan. 7 crime was the only one he committed in Newcastle.
In June, the King County Prosecutor Attorney’s office launched the Repeat Burglar Initiative to aggressively prosecute high-impact burglars. As part of the program, Deputy Prosecutor Maurice Classen worked with local law enforcement agencies to identify the 20 most prolific burglars in the area. Within a month after the list was developed, 15 of the 20 prolific burglars were caught.
“So far, it’s gone really well,” said Deputy Prosecutor Chris Nielson.
Nielson said the program was developed because while most crimes in the county have declined, residential burglary has increased.
Classen could not be reached for comment as to whether any of the top 20 burglars have struck in Newcastle.