Alexandria Police Department Provides Summary of Part I Crimes for 2019 and 2020 Year-to-Date

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Alexandria Police Department Provides Summary of Part I Crimes for 2019 and 2020 Year-to-Date

For Immediate Release: October 2, 2020 

The Alexandria Police Department has provided a summary of Part I crime for calendar year 2020 to date, compared to the same period in 2019. Excluding certain larcenies and stolen vehicles, there have been 2% fewer reported Part I crimes so far this year. The increase in certain types of offenses has resulted largely from enhanced anti-shoplifting efforts by a few retail stores, and offenses related to vehicles left unattended during the COVID-19 pandemic. If those offenses are included, there has been an 18% increase in overall Part I crimes to date.

Part I Crimes in the City of Alexandria
(January through September 2019 and 2020)

Offense
Jan-Sep 2019
Jan-Sep 2020
Change
Homicide 1 2 1
Rape 17 8 -9
Robbery 65 66 1
  Robbery/Bank 3 0 -3
  Robbery/Commercial 12 11 -1
  Robbery/Person 49 48 -1
  Robbery/Carjacking 1 7 6
Aggravated Assault 154 150 -4
  Assault/Felonious 95 109 14
  Assault/On Police 14 12 -2
  Assault/Weapon 45 29 -16
Burglary 84 91 7
  Burglary/Commercial 30 43 13
  Burglary/Residential 51 38 -13
  Burglary/Other 3 10 7
Larceny 1483 1769 286
  Larceny/Bike 65 88 23
  Larceny/Vehicle 496 688 192
  Larceny/Building 275 232 -43
  Larceny/Shoplifting 331 438 107
  Larceny/Other 316 323 7
Stolen Auto 177 261 84
  Car 129 217 88
  Truck 2 2 0
  Other 46 42 -4
TOTAL 1981 2347 366

There has been a sharp rise in the number of shoplifting and concealment offenses reported at retail stores, following a significant increase in private loss prevention efforts starting in January 2020. While the stores have identified more shoplifters than before, this does not necessarily represent an increase in shoplifting.

Much of the increase in larcenies from vehicles and stolen cars and bikes can be attributed to owners leaving them unattended for long periods of time while at home during the pandemic. Very few larcenies from vehicles have involved breaking windows; they are typically from unlocked vehicles. Vehicle owners are urged to check their vehicles at least once per day to ensure they are locked and valuables are not in sight, and to move vehicles periodically to reduce the appearance that they are unattended. While crimes are the fault of the persons who commit them and not of the victims, there are steps everyone can take to reduce their risk.

While there have been notable decreases in the number of reported rapes, the Police Department and the City’s Sexual Assault Center are concerned that some rapes may not have been reported if the victims did not feel comfortable making the reports while having to stay in the homes where the rapes occurred. Confidential support is available 24 hours a day by calling the City’s Sexual Assault Hotline at 703.683.7273 or chatting online with The National Sexual Assault Online Hotline. Anyone in immediate danger should call or text 911.

The decrease in residential burglaries is likely connected to residents being present in their homes, since these offenses usually target unoccupied residences. For the same reason, commercial burglaries (typically theft from unattended but locked businesses) are up while larcenies from buildings (typically theft from businesses and housing complexes while they are open) are down.

Assaults involving weapons are also down sharply in 2020. The recent increase in incidents involving shots fired is largely not reflected within Part I crimes, because the incidents are typically non-contact offenses or destruction of property incidents.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation divides offenses into Part I and Part II crimes. Part I crimes are considered more serious because they include crimes against people. It is important to note Alexandria generally has a low crime rate and a low number of criminal incidents. As such, small fluctuations in incidents when comparing annual data can lead to large percentage changes that must be considered in context.

For inquiries from the news media only, contact Lt. Courtney Ballantine at courtney.ballantine@alexandriava.gov or 703.746.6612. 

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This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/118104.

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