WSAV Crime Tracker - Year In Review 2013 - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

WSAV Crime Tracker - Year In Review 2013

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Savannah, Georgia -

It's the beginning of a new year - but in today's WSAV Crime Tracker report, we're going to take a look back at 2013. Which crimes were up and which were down? It's important to keep in mind that these are not the final numbers for the year. But they are preliminary numbers through this past Saturday - December 28th. And they can give us a good snapshot of crime in our area in this year in review.

Some of the most violent crimes saw increases in 2013. Homicides up 30-percent with 30 total. That's seven more than last year. The number of rapes nearly doubled with 48 reported compared to last year's total of 25. And aggravated assaults with a gun were up 20-percent with 163 reported incidents through December 28th.

But the news wasn't all bad...some crimes saw huge declines in the past year. One of the biggest - commercial robberies. Down 37-percent for the year with 44 fewer incidents reported than in 2012. West Chatham Police Captain Philip Reilley recently talked to News 3 about the decline, "A lot of things the police have done in all the precincts is we've paid close attention to businesses. We patrol the business area, we encourage the business owners to take a proactive approach to protecting their property and give them crime prevention information - things that they can do - and we've arranged our precincts where we can make a presence at a lot of these businesses during those time periods where they're not likely to be robbed."

Another big decline in thefts from yards - down 25-percent from 2012 numbers with 257 fewer reported incidents this year. We spoke with WSAV Crime Expert Gerry Long in November about a change in state law for metals recycling businesses that she believes contributed to the reduction, "Positive identification required, only certain persons are allowed to trade in air conditioning parts like the copper coils, someone who could prove legitimate ownership, or someone who like - for example - may be in the air conditioning business."

Street robberies are also down 12-percent for the year with 40 fewer reported incidents. A spike in late October prompted Metro to form a special team of officers to address the problem. Assistant Chief Terry Enoch explained the concept, "We've identified some individuals who bring some special talents to the table, who have experience, who have a desire to go out and work these short term type task forces. They're there to support the Precincts. Again, it's short term. Our Precinct strategies to fighting crime are more long term."

Final numbers are usually reported by Metro Police within a couple of weeks into the new year. When that happens - we'll let you know.

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