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Gang violence sends aggravated assault
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Crime in Manteca this year through the end of August experienced double digit drops in year-to-year comparisons in all but three of the 12 felonies that the FBI uses to determine the relative safety of communities.

One non-double digit drop was actually a decrease in commercial burglaries as they were down 8 percent for the year going from 75 to 69. Other burglary was up 55 percent going from nine to 14.

The big problem was aggravated assault shooting up 96.97 percent in the first eight months of 2010. There were 65 instances of aggravated assault - typically gang members shooting weapons - compared to 33 for the same time period last year.

At the same time, aggravated assault in August actually dropped 25 percent with just three cases compared in four cases in August of 2009. Gang violence started rising in June and reached a crescendo in late June and early July.

Manteca Police Chief Dave Bricker noted that September and October statistics will continue to show a month-to-month  drop-off in such assaults as gang violence started to drop once officers were able to arrest some of the main culprits. Even so, Bricker said aggravated assaults are particularly troublesome due to concern that innocent people could get hit as happened this past summer.

Bricker also noted gang violence comes in waves. While additional officers would help, Bricker said the department has reshuffled resources after manpower cutbacks to make sure the same number of officers are going after gangs whether they are street or special unit officers.

Even with aggravated assaults, overall Manteca crime registered its 18th consecutive month of dropping.

Two August-to-August statistics indicate things could be changing if trends aren’t curbed. One involves auto burglaries that numbered 40 in August. That is a 25 percent jump over the 32 committed last August. For the year, though, auto burglary is down 12.35 percent going from 340 to 298.

Other drop off in various categories of felonies from the first eight months of 2010 compared to the first eight months of 2009 is as follows:
•Residential burglaries down 10.53 percent from 190 to 170.
•Vehicle theft down 34.89 percent from 235 to 135.
•Arson down 14.29 percent from 7 to 6.
•Grand theft down 13.70 percent from 146 to 126.
•Robbery down 40.32 percent from 62 to 37.
•Rape or unlawful intercourse down 36.36 percent from 22 to 14.
•All other felonies down 19.50 percent from 400 to 322.
Misdemeanor thefts are also down 3.91 percent in the eight-month comparisons going from 409 in 2009 to 393 in 2010.

All other misdemeanors are off 20.15 percent (2,055 down to 1,641). Altogether misdemeanor crimes have dropped off 17.46 percent in Manteca.
Other Manteca crimes in the first five months of 2010 compared to the same period in 2009 are as follows:
•Narcotic offenses are down 39.39 percent from 336 to 207.
•Alcohol offenses are down 13.36 percent from 464 to 402.
•Fraud and forgery are down 18.75 percent from 272 to 221.
• Domestic violence is down 4.33 percent from 254 to 243.