CHICAGO (CBS) — Police say overall crime in Chicago was down for the 29th consecutive month in May.

A report issued Sunday said overall crime was down 5.9 percent for the year through the end of May, compared with the period of January through May 2010.

Violent crime was down 10.2 percent in the first five months of the year, while property crime dropped 4.8 percent, police said.

In particular, homicides dropped precipitously, by 16.3 percent, police said. Through May of this year, there have been 27 fewer homicides than during the same period last year.

All other categories of violent crime were also down, police said. Aggravated batteries dropped 16.1 percent, aggravated assaults dropped 15.6 percent, robberies dropped 4.4 percent, and criminal sexual assaults dropped 2.4 percent.

But not all the news is good. There are two categories of crime that are up, both of them under the property crime index. Motor vehicle thefts are up a staggering 16.6 percent compared with the same period last year, while arsons are up 11.1 percent.

But burglaries are down 1.8 percent, and thefts are down significantly, by 16.6 percent.

In a news release, Acting Police Supt. Garry McCarthy credited the drop in crime to the changes he has already made in the deployment of officers – specifically putting them back on the street.

“Putting cops on the street and giving them the needed resources is central to our mission moving forward,” McCarthy said in the release. “Patrol is the backbone of the department; working hard to strengthen community partnerships through patrol will help to keep these crime statistics going in the right direction, allowing residents to feel safe in their communities.”

Former police Supt. Jody Weis had favored assigning officers to specialized units, but Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced plans upon his inauguration to reassign 500 police officers from specialized units to beats in heavy-crime neighborhoods. McCarthy has already been going about enacting that plan.

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