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Violent and property crime up in Colorado in 2015; murder, car thefts way up

Posted: 3:47 PM, Sep 27, 2016
Updated: 2016-09-27 19:49:43-04

DENVER – Colorado saw small increases in both violent and property crime last year, according to new statistics released Monday by the FBI.

Overall, violent crime was up 6.2 percent statewide from 2014 to 2015, and property crime was up 6.1 percent.

Read the full FBI "Crime in the U.S." report here.

The largest increase was seen in the state’s murder and non-negligent manslaughter rate, which grew by 17.3 percent, from 150 in 2014 to 176 last year.

Robbery increased by 9.4 percent and the number of statewide rape cases grew by 6.3 percent.

While burglary rates were slightly down, vehicle thefts increased by 27 percent statewide, from 12,599 in 2014 to 16,000 last year.

Nationwide, violent crime rose by 3.8 percent, with a 10.8 percent increase in the murder and non-negligent manslaughter rate. Property crime was down 2.6 percent, though the vehicle theft rate rose by 3.1 percent.

The nationwide violent crime rate is still down from five and 10 years ago.

But the Mountain region, which includes Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming saw changes more similar to Colorado’s.

The violent crime rate rose by 8 percent and the vehicle theft rate rose by 14 percent in the region. Portions of the spike can be attributed to Nevada’s violent crime rate, which went up 11.5 percent, as did New Mexico’s, at 9.8 percent.

New Mexico also saw a large increase in vehicle thefts, which rose 35.5 percent from 2014 to 2015.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Monday the data shows “we still have so much work to do,” but that 2015 overall showed the third-lowest violent crime rate in 20 years.

Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith called the numbers “bad news for law-abiding Coloradans” in a Facebook post, saying, “It’s time to reverse course on our soft on crime approach. Criminals should once again be held accountable and the laws should be rewritten to protect the law abiding.”

Editor’s note: The percentages listed in this story are the overall percentage rates for each state or the country. Numbers per 100,000 people differ slightly.

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