Only Motor Vehicle Thefts Are Up

CHICAGO (CBS) — Crime was down nearly across the board for the month of March, police said Tuesday.

In a news release, police said March of this year was the 27th straight month of decreases in overall, violent and property crime offenses in the city.

Total crime dropped 8.1 percent across the city compared with March 2010, police said. Violent crimes were down 10.7 percent, while property crimes were down 7.5 percent.

Compared with March of last year, homicides last month were down 1.4 percent, criminal sexual assaults were down 4.4 percent, and aggravated batteries had dropped 17.7 percent, police said.

The only category that was up was auto thefts, which were up significantly. Motor vehicle thefts jumped 21.3 percent compared with March of last year, police said.

In the release, interim police Supt. Terry Hillard credited district patrols with cutting the crime rate.
“District law enforcement is fundamental to responding to community concerns and is a vital presence in the city’s neighborhoods,” Hillard said in the release. “The opportunity for regular interaction with uniformed officers on the beat encourages open communication and the public support necessary for responsive police service and for solving and preventing crime.”

Recently, Hillard reversed a move by controversial former Supt. Jody Weis, and returned 70 officers from specialized units back to district patrols.