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Cape police, Sheriff’s Office show decrease in overall crime numbers for first half of year

By Staff | Aug 20, 2013

Overall crime is down in Cape Coral and Lee County for the first six months of this year.

The Cape Coral Police Department and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office released their semi-annual uniform crime reports last week, which are used to compare incidents nationwide. The total number of reported crimes has decreased at both agencies for 2013, as compared to the same period last year.

The LCSO recorded 4,804 offenses for the first half of this year – a 3.3 percent drop from the 4,968 for 2012. The CCPD had 2,090 offenses for 2013 – a 6.2 percent decline from the 2,229 last year.

“Mid-year crime statistics are very fluid,” Police Chief Jay Murphy said in a statement.

It is the sixth straight year that the county has seen a reduction in overall crime at this point.

“While the total number of crimes is down, the number of arrests is actually up by more than 200,” Sheriff Mike Scott said in a statement. “This shows that the fine deputies with the Sheriff’s Office continue to work to make Lee County a safer place for you and me.”

Non-violent crimes – burglaries, thefts and motor vehicle thefts – decreased at both agencies.

The CCPD recorded 1,973 offenses in the first six months of 2013 – a 6 percent change from the 2,100 last year. The LCSO had 4,174 for this year – a 4.5 percent shift from the 4,370 in 2012.

In the Cape, burglaries dropped 16 percent this year and thefts dipped 4 percent, but motor vehicle thefts rose 16 percent to 80 incidents. The county reported that motor vehicle thefts fell 22 percent to 243 incidents this year, while burglaries were reduced by 8.4 percent and thefts dipped 0.6 percent.

For violent crimes, the Cape reported a decrease year-to-year, while the county saw an increase.

Murders, forced sex crimes, robberies and aggravated assaults/stalkings are violent crimes.

The CCPD recorded 117 offenses for the first half of this year – a 9 percent drop from the 129 for 2012. The LCSO had 630 offenses for 2013 – a 5.4 percent decline from the 598 last year.

“We are encouraged by the fact the largest drop (9 percent) is in violent crime and a slightly smaller drop (6 percent) in property crimes,” Murphy said.

“Cape Coral continues to be a safe city for our residents and we are thankful for our residents’ ongoing support of the efforts of the fine men and women of the Cape Coral Police Department,” he added.

In Lee County, murders dropped 72.7 percent this year to 3, while sex crimes dipped 9.2 percent. Robberies jumped 20.7 percent to 181, and assaults/stalkings climbed 4.9 percent. The Cape had a 33 percent decline in murders, 75 percent drop in sex crimes and 9 percent dip in assaults/stalkings.

Robberies rose in the Cape for the first half of 2013 – climbing 12 percent from 25 to 28.

“The year is only half over,” Scott said. “Our goal is to keep up the good work for the next six months. I have no doubt the men and women of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office will be up to the challenge.”

The LCSO has primary jurisdiction for the unincorporated areas of Lee County, as well as the cities of Bonita Springs and Fort Myers Beach. However, sheriff’s deputies have countywide arrest powers.