May crime incidents see increase from last year

Despite the increase in total crime from last May, the number of robberies has decreased to zero

· June 6, 2012, 10:02 pm   ·  Updated June 11, 2012, 2:27 pm

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Total crime saw a 24 percent increase from May 2011 to May 2012.

Simple assaults increased by 100 percent, from two last May to four this May.

Crimes against property also saw an increase from last May, totaling at 60 over last year’s 47. Twenty-six of the 60 crimes occurred on Penn’s campus.

“Most of it has to do with the seven [more] retail thefts that were reported to us,” Penn Police Chief Mark Dorsey said. “That seems to be the one category in crimes against property that has caused the jump.”

Robberies, however, have decreased from four to zero this May.

The number of forcible sex offenses, at one, crimes against people, at seven, and burglaries, at three, all remained constant between the two months. Eight bike thefts were reported in May of both years, and all except for one occurred at Penn.

Dorsey said reported bike thefts tend to decrease after May. “In May, since most of the students are going home, bikes they have left in certain areas for a long period of time — like weeks or months — will be gone,” he said. “Students don’t realize that the bikes are missing until they get ready to go home.”

Theft from buildings increased by one from the 26 reported last May, and thefts from retail businesses saw a 175 percent jump from four to 11.

Dorsey added that the other thefts occur in “commercial establishments when [victims] leave their pocketbook [on] the floor or behind the seat.”

However, they were all addressed immediately, according to Dorsey. The vast majority of them have concluded in an arrest, and “when we see patterns of activity going on in stores, we go in each store on a daily basis and put control locks in all those establishments.”

Although overall crime between the two months of May has increased, Dorsey is still confident that the police are keeping it under control.

“Even though we have met our challenges with bike thefts and retail thefts, the officers in the community are addressing these issues,” Dorsey said. “Overall crime in the calendar year is down, and crimes against person has been brought down tremendously.”

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