Motor vehicle theft increases while overall property crime rate declines

In addition to violent crimes, the FBI also tracks property crimes on an annual basis. This post shows how property crimes have decreased in both Detroit and the State of Michigan during 2012.  Not only have the overall property crime rates decreased, but so have the burglary and larceny-theft rates. Motor vehicle theft on the hand experienced an increase from 2011 to 2012 for the City of Detroit.

According to the FBI, property crime “includes the offenses of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson.  The object of the theft-type offenses is the taking of money or property, but there is no force or threat of force against the victims.”

There was a decrease in the reported property crime rate for both Detroit and Michigan from 2011 to 2012. In 2012, Detroit’s property crime rate was reported at 5,792 compared to 6,143.5 in 2011. Michigan’s property crime rate was reported at 2,530 in 2012, down from 2,621.1 in 2011.

According to the FBI burglary is defined as, “the unlawful entry of a structure to commit a felony or theft.  To classify an offense as a burglary, the use of force to gain entry need not have occurred.”

In 2012, both the City of Detroit and the State of Michigan followed similar trends of experiencing a decrease in the burglary rate. In 2012, Detroit’s burglary rate was 2,097.5 compared to 2,242.2 in 2011. Michigan’s burglary rate was 664.4 in 2012 compared to 725 in 2011. Note the increase in the rate with the worsening economic climate after 2005, followed by a decline as the economy improved after 2011.

According to the FBI, larceny theft is defined as “the unlawful taking, carrying, leading, or riding away of property from the possession or constructive possession of another.”

In 2012, the larceny rate for Detroit was 2,228.3 and the state’s rate was 1,612; both rates have seen significant declines since 1992.

According to the FBI, motor vehicle theft is defined as “the theft or attempted theft of a motor vehicle.”

While the motor vehicle theft rate experienced a decline from 2006 to 2009 it has since increased. In 2012 the motor vehicle theft rate in the City of Detroit was 1,626 and in 2011 it was reported to be 1,594 per 100,000 residents.

The State of Michigan has experienced a steady decline in its motor vehicle theft rates since 2006 (496.6). In 2012 the rate was 157.2.

The above chart shows the rate of criminal offenses (per 100,000 people) reported in 2012 for the property crimes addressed in this post for the City of Detroit and the next four most populous cities that are part of the Detroit Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). Of the five communities, Detroit had the highest rate of offenses reported for all of the crimes, with the exception of larceny. Dearborn has the highest larceny rate in 2012.

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