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Assaults down, property crime up in Manteca
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Assaults continued to drop in Manteca during May while most property crime increased.

The monthly Manteca Police Department crime statistics report reflects an upward swing in property crimes that started in January. Prior to that, property crime had dropped for 22 consecutive months in Manteca.

In year-to-date comparisons between this year and 2009 through May:

•Auto burglary was up 46.33 percent going from 177 to 259.

•Residential burglary was up 25.45 percent going from 110 to 138.

•Commercial burglary was up 28.26 percent going from 33 to 42

Vehicle theft was up 6.9 percent going from 97 to 103

•Grand theft was down 33.3 percent going from 78 to 52.

•Robbery was unchanged at 24 to the end of May in both years.

The concentration on gang violence by Manteca officers is credited with aggravated assault dropping 28.26 percent going from 46 through May of this year compared to 59 the year before.

Even so, Manteca Police Dave Bricker has said officers won’t let up pressure since warmer months historically have led to increase in such gang violence.

Police have said many property crimes are the result of citizens making it easy for criminals to ply their trade.

Auto burglaries, for example, are basically the result of criminals looking into vehicles and seeing something they may believe has value such as a gym bag, box, or actual items in plain view such as cameras, and personal electronic devices ranging from cell phones to laptops to MP3 players.

Police advise people to not leave anything in sight. There are some break-ins where the only thing taken is loose change that has been saved in a cup holder. The window replacement typically can cost more than the money lost. Such work comes in between $150 and $200.

Law enforcement leaders have credited diligent vehicle owners with helping reduce the vehicle theft rate significantly since it peaked at 798 stolen cars in 2008. That decline happened despite Manteca being sandwiched between the No. 1 and No. 3 worst cities for auto theft in the United States - Stockton and Modesto.

At the peak of vehicle thefts, one out of every four cars stolen in Manteca had either been left with the engine running or keys in the ignition. That has dropped off significantly along with vehicle thefts.

Even with the current increase in vehicle thefts, they are on pace to reach only 250 this year in Manteca. That is less than a third of the peak year of 798 auto thefts.

Misdemeanor thefts have dropped by less than a percent in year-to-year comparisons going from 1,204 in 2010 to 1,196 this year.

Also dropping in May-to-May comparisons were:

•Narcotic offenses by 21.17 percent going from 137 to 108.

•Alcohol offenses by 24.16 percent going from 269 to 204.

•Domestic violence by 4.05 percent going from 148 to 142.

•Fraud and forgery by 13.08 percent going from 130 to 113.

The value of property stolen is up 117.85 percent in year-to-year comparisons going from $1,461,588 to $3,184,691. Successful recovery of stolen property has shot up even higher by some 147.68 percent going from $484,998 to $1,201,224.

Adult arrests are off 2.08 percent dropping from 1,057 to 1,035. Juvenile arrests have skyrocketed jumping 46.74 percent from 92 to 135.