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Gang violence rises as other crime drops
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Gang-related assaults continue to grow in Manteca while virtually every other category of crime is experiencing double digit drops in year-to-year comparisons.

Manteca Police Department crime statistics for June show an overall drop of 14.57 percent compared to June 2009 in felonies that comprise the 11 Part One Crimes the FBI tracks nationally.

Assaults - virtually all gang related - skyrocketed 113.04 percent in May to 49 compared with 23 in May 2009.

Auto theft is a prime example of Manteca’s continuing dropping crime rate of the 11 so called Part One Crimes that are serious felonies that the FBI uses as a measuring stick to determine, local, state, and national crime rates. It was down 27.5 percent through June of this year with 116 vehicles stolen compared to 160 during the same time period in 2009.

At the peak of the auto theft frenzy in Manteca, about 25 percent of all cars taken were either left with keys in the ignition or with engines running and unattended. There were a record 798 auto thefts in Manteca in 2004.

It wasn’t unusual in 2004 for at least once a month for police to get a report of a car being stolen by someone who started it up to warm the engine and then went inside for a cup of coffee. What makes it ironic is post 1990 vehicle engineering plus Manteca’s mild weather makes warming up a vehicle superfluous.

Manteca Police have been able to drastically reduce easy car thefts through residents cooperating and not leaving keys in their cars or engines running as much as they once did.

Observant citizens are also a big help. Several burglary suspects have been caught recently because residents paid attention to the daily routine in their neighborhoods and were quick to report something amiss.

The drop of in various categories of felonies from the first six months of 2010 compared to the first six months of 2009 is as follows:

•Residential burglaries down 14.29 percent from 147 to 126.

•Vehicle theft down 27.5 percent from 160 to 116.

•Arson down 20 percent from 5 to 4.

•Auto burglary down 13.9 percent from 259 to 223.

•Commercial burglary down 10.94 percent from 64 to 57.

•Grand theft down 14.55 percent from 110 to 94.

•Robbery down 37.5 percent from 48 to 30.

•Rape or unlawful intercourse down 45 percent from 20 to 11.

•All other felonies down 15.49 percent from 297 to 251.

The felony crime categories that went up during the same time period are as follows:

•Aggravated assault up 113.04 percent from 23 to 49.

•Other burglary up 140 percent from 5 to 12.

Misdemeanor thefts are also down 3.33 percent in the six-month comparisons going from 300 in 2009 to 290 in 2010.

All other misdemeanors are off 26.60 percent (1,575 down to 1,156). Altogether misdemeanor crimes have dropped off 22.8 percent in Manteca.

Other Manteca crimes in the first six months of 2010 compared to the same period in 2010 are as follows:

•Narcotic offenses are down 39.55 percent from 268 to 162.

•Alcohol offenses are down 13.07 percent from 352 to 306.

•Fraud and forgery are down 20.29 percent from 207 to 165.

•Code enforcement violations had no change as it was 19 to 19.

•Domestic violence is down 5.38 percent going from 186 to 176.

June was the 16th consecutive month that Manteca has experienced an overall drop in its crime rate.