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Gang-on-gang violence escalates as most other crimes decrease

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POSTED March 25, 2010 2:31 a.m.

Crime continues to drop in Manteca with one huge caveat – gang-on-gang violence.

Manteca, like the rest of California, is seeing drops in most felony categories. The only two significant exceptions statewide are gang-on-gang violence and homicides.

January marked the 15th straight month that most serious crimes have declined significantly in Manteca despite the weak economy and the city growing by over 1,000 people during the past year. The crime rate has been dropping overall for two years.

Police Chief Dave Bricker said that normally during a recession all categories of crime go up. The only exception that he is aware of to that rule was The Great Depression.

Many categories of crime in Manteca are still experiencing double-digit drop-offs. It is something Bricker attributes to the dedicated efforts of the department’s police officers as well as the strategy of concentrating on criminals that are responsible for the most crimes.

Auto burglary that was off 64.29 percent in January compared to a year prior is one example. Bricker said officers have been able to build strong cases against offenders who are responsible for a large number of auto burglaries. That, in turn, helps put them away and lower the crime rate by getting the most prolific offenders off the street.

In January 2010 crime stats compared to January of 2009, the so-called “Part One” crime offenses – 12 felonies the FBI uses to determine the relative safely of a community are comprised of serious crimes – was down 34.57 percent overall. That includes homicide, rape or unlawful intercourse, robbery, aggravated assault, commercial burglary, residential burglary, other burglary, auto burglary, grand theft, vehicle theft, arson, and all other felonies.

The drop in felonies includes:

• unlawful intercourse down 66.67 percent going from six to two.

• robbery down 55.56 percent from nine to four.

• commercial burglary down 18.75 percent from 16 to 13.

• residential burglaries down 37.14 percent from 35 to 22.

• auto burglary down 64.29 percent from 70 to 25.

• grand theft down 23.81 percent from 21 to 16.

• vehicle theft down 17.86 percent from 28 to 23.

• arson down 100 percent from 1 to none.

• all other felonies down 18.37 percent from 49 to 40.

There was no change in homicides or all other felonies.

The only crime segment bucking the trend is aggravated assault. The number of reported cases jumped 25 percent going from eight to 10.

Misdemeanor thefts are up 10 percent going from 50 to 55. The overall misdemeanors are down 20.18 percent dropping from 327 to 261. Narcotic offenses are off as well going from 41 to 29 for a 29.27 percent decline.    

Also dropping were accidents going from 75 to 51 for a 32 percent reduction.

Even the amount of recovered stolen property has increased over January 2009 levels from 18.8 percent to 33.01 percent.

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