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Burglaries on upswing in Manteca as violence drops

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POSTED March 21, 2013 1:03 a.m.

Manteca is experiencing a surge in residential and auto burglaries while the value of what is being stolen has dropped.

The crime statistics for the first two months of 2013 also show Manteca Police are doing a better job of catching culprits as arrests are up 6 percent. At the same time police are recovering 41.41 percent of the value of stolen property or $342,607 worth of stolen property that is being recovered.

Police are also encountering more resistance when they are trying to make arrests. There were two occasions in the first two months of 2012 when officers were forced to use force in detaining a suspect. They had to use force eight times in January and February or quadruple the amount in the same period of the previous year.

That reflects a statewide trend of suspects being aggressive with officers whether it is pulling weapons, fighting, or instances of them ramming police vehicles as they try to escape.

Part One Crimes – felonies the FBI measures nationwide – are up 16.18 percent in the first two months of this year with much of the rise attributed to residential and vehicle burglaries.

Residential burglaries are up 31.82 percent going from 44 in 2012 to 58 this year. Vehicle burglaries are up as well by 20.69 percent going from 87 to 105. Grand theft has jumped 84.21 percent going from 19 to 32.

Physical crimes of a violent nature against people, however, are dropping. Aggravated assaults – which includes gang violence – is down 26.67 percent going from 19 to 12. Manteca is now in its 21st month without a homicide. There has just been one incident of rape or unlawful intercourse that has occurred this year, down from two in the first two months of last year.

Misdemeanor thefts are also surging going from 149 to 220 for a jump of 47.65 percent. These typically involve items stolen from yards and such.

Police have noted most burglaries are crimes of opportunity where victims unwittingly leave things in clear view in vehicles. Vehicle thefts – which stands at 65 compared to 61 in the first two months of last year – is another area where people unwittingly help criminals. More than 20 percent of all vehicle thefts in Manteca involve drivers leaving the vehicle unattended with the engine running or leaving keys in their car.

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