Crime rate drops again in 2013

Number of total reported offenses fell by 9 percent, cops say

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By Jean Lotus

Forest Park Review Editor

Oak Park crime dropped to the second lowest level in the last 41 years, according to statistics gathered by Oak Park police and reported to the Illinois Uniform Crime Reporting Index this week.

According to a statement from the village, the number of crime incidents reported fell nine percent to 1,798 in 2013, down from 1,967 in 2012.

Burglaries and thefts were the top crimes in Oak Park in 2013, as they have been for years. According to the village, 90 percent of all 2013 crimes were theft or burglary, with most being garage burglaries.

The category of thefts had the largest number of incidents in 2013, with 1,148 reported. This was a decrease from 1,341 in 2012, or a 14 percent drop.

Oak Park police reported 460 burglaries in 2013, up by eight percent compared to 426 in 2012. Oak Park Police Chief Rick Tanksley said in nearly two-thirds of burglaries reported in Oak Park, thieves entered through an unlocked door or window.

Police investigated 85 robberies in 2013, down from 99 in 2012. The village release pointed out that the overall robbery trend is decreasing. There were 107 robberies in 2011 and 133 in 2010. Tanksley said the 2013 number was the lowest number of robberies since 1972, the earliest year that comparable records were kept.

There were no homicides in 2013, compared to two in 2012.

Criminal sexual assault and aggravated assault/battery offenses remained the same in 2013, at five and 36 respectively.

Police said in all five sexual assault cases the victims knew the offenders and in each case, victims refused to cooperate with police, or there was insufficient evidence to prove a crime occurred.

Five arsons were reported to the UCR in 2013. Police said in four of the five cases, the affected party refused to cooperate. An arrest was made in the fifth incident, police said.

Calls for service dropped to 33,155 in 2013, compared to 33,521 in 2012. The average response time in 2013 was 3 minutes, 39 seconds for high priority calls, 4:42 minutes for medium priority calls such as accidents without injuries and 6:20 for low-priority calls, the police said.

The number of arrests for serious crimes also fell, police reported.

The number of robbery arrests in 2013 was 20, whereas in 2012 the number of arrests was 27.The number of burglary arrests also fell in 2013 to 21 from 32 in 2012. Police made 151 theft arrests in 2013, compared to 216 in 2012. The only category in which arrest went up was aggravated assault and battery, where police made 28 arrests in 2013 compared to 19 in 2012. Police said in most assault/battery cases reported the offenders knew their victims.

Oak Park police made a total of 54 drug-related arrests in 2013, down from 83 in 2012.

Tanksley commended the cooperation of local citizens working with community police to keep crime down in Oak Park.

"Our statistics demonstrate just how safe our community really is," Tanksley said in the press release. He also said crime data analysis was used to predict crimes and that helped put police in the right place at the right time.

Tanksley noted any crime is one crime too many.

"The Police Department has never lost sight that each number represents a person who has encountered a criminal or criminal activity and may carry that encounter with them for the rest of their lives," he said in the statement.

"Whether the overall rate is at its second lowest level in years really doesn't mean a lot to a victim of a crime, or if there's a continual nuisance in your neighborhood."

Tanksley said he and his staff tried to keep communication open to provide information to residents that would help them participate in police initiatives to lower crime even further.  

Reader Comments

28 Comments - Add Your Comment

Comment Policy

data doesnt lie, statisticians do  

Posted: January 25th, 2014 8:04 PM

Oh! Data does not lie was serious?!? Hahahahahaha people stop reporting for all types of reasons including thinking its pointless because they don't expect their things to be recovered or a suspect to be caught. Listening to other former disappointed recipients of police service. Ask Chicago...they're losing a lot of crime just by not sending cars to delayed burglaries and vehicle break-ins. They take your report over the phone and tell you up front no officer is coming to the scene.

Hey Speedway Get a Bat Signal  

Posted: January 24th, 2014 6:29 PM

Caped crusaders are your only hope. That or a Nekoosa Wisconsin relocation.

Barney from Mayberry  

Posted: January 24th, 2014 2:06 PM

Stealing a cat and joy riding it? That's two crimes. By the way, Andy, have you seen Opie?

Speedway from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: January 24th, 2014 1:41 PM

Data does not lie? How about the person/persons putting in the data. Garbage in. Garbage out. Start downgrading the data from robbery to simple burglary, assault to simple battery and when you key in those new stats, wallah, you get a safer community. Now doesn/t that make you feel better.

Data Does Not Lie  

Posted: January 24th, 2014 10:45 AM

I agree with comments about stats not lying. Data is data. Draw whatever conclusion you want about how safe you feel but facts are facts. Why would unreported incidents be greater now than at any other time? Not like you have to wait for an operator to make a phone call anymore.

Brian Slowiak from Oak Park  

Posted: January 23rd, 2014 6:44 PM

@Barney: Worse after they stole the cat, they joy ride it

Bill D  

Posted: January 23rd, 2014 5:00 PM

People who are victimized by a crime, property or otherwise, and don't file a report are making a mistake. Police can only work with what they're given, and citizens need to make it things official. I think sometimes people are hesitant because they're worried it will be made public. But their names won't be released, nor their address. They're not giving up their privacy.

Bruce P from OP  

Posted: January 23rd, 2014 3:46 PM

Crime may be lower, but I donot feel safer and neither should any of you. I wonder how many crimes commited are not reported? I also wonder what the status is of the iPads that were stolen. And are the tax payers fronting the bill?

Barney  

Posted: January 23rd, 2014 3:30 PM

Cat stolen? I thought we only had crimes like that in Mayberry.

Brian Slowiak from Oak Park  

Posted: January 23rd, 2014 3:16 PM

Q; cat stolen in Oak Park,two kids caught joy riding, case closed, but did the joy riders steal the auto W/all the senior housing in OP,. is anyone checking the insurance beneficiaries. Suppose the janitor w/keys to mail room(to remove mail notification) and seniors apartment just happens to be named as insurance beneficiary in to 10 dead seniors whose bodies have been cremated.

MaryOP  

Posted: January 23rd, 2014 3:04 PM

Does this crime drop include the crime that occurs at the high school? The crime at OPRFHS s outrageous and most of it you never hear about why is that? Like someone already mentioned, a student was arrested this week for selling drugs, where is that info? Why don't we hear about that? As parents we should know.

Brian Slowiak from Oak Park  

Posted: January 23rd, 2014 2:54 PM

Q"Officer, someone broke into my gar4age last night. Nothing was taken, I just want you to know and watch the area. I don't want a report"Offense, no report. Crime is down. The guidelines for offense recorded do not match Illinois state law.Victims for what ever reason do not report offenses,Rape, robbery,domestic battery.An unrecorded offense. residents leave garage doors and autos unlocked w/nothing inside so they don't suffer damage to the garage door or auto window.Gypsy entries=no burglary

Taxpayer  

Posted: January 23rd, 2014 1:04 PM

Wondering if these stats include the stolen iPads, and other crimes committed on D97 and D200 property, but never reported by the police to the media or taxpayers.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: January 23rd, 2014 1:03 PM

@Brian Slowiak You were a Police Officer in Oak Park, with a long record of service. Would you agree with crime being the second lowest in 41 years or can you explain how they come up with these statistics because crime does not seem to match what the numbers.

joe from south oak park  

Posted: January 23rd, 2014 1:00 PM

You make a very good point Brian. Something else that I'd like to see is how many of these robberies were successfully prosecuted and for those that were, what was the penalty/plea agreement handed out by the judge.

Born in 1962 Afraid Since 1967  

Posted: January 23rd, 2014 12:54 PM

Stats don't lie. Crime is down here and everywhere. What is up is communication. News is instant now, and has been since the internet became part of our lives. Communication speed is affecting crime globally, in a positive way. What we have today is more open targets of opportunity (i.e cell phones, iPads, etc). Stats don't lie--crime is down. But awareness of crime incidents has never been higher. These are two different things.

Brian Slowiak from Oak Park  

Posted: January 23rd, 2014 12:34 PM

'The police department has never lost sight that each number represents a person who has encountered a criminal or criminal activity and may carry that encounter with them for the rest of their lives" If so, why arent clearance rates of offenses mentioned? How mny robberies,how many solved,how many outstandingThe art of the criminal investigation is the identification of the criminal who is unknown to the victim.How many closed fi8les were reopened and cleared?

Violet Aura from Chicago, Illinois  

Posted: January 23rd, 2014 12:19 PM

What a relief! I am so glad to hear this!

Ray Simpson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: January 23rd, 2014 12:17 PM

Anyone know how many cases of weapons felony in 2013?

Anthony K from River Forest  

Posted: January 23rd, 2014 12:15 PM

Grew up in Oak Park, live in River Forest. I agree with Born in 1962.

Born in 1962 / LifeLong Resident  

Posted: January 23rd, 2014 10:52 AM

As a lifelong resident, I can honestly say that Oak Park is vastly more dangerous than when I grew up here. Quite simply, these stats are a crook of .........................................

OPRF Parent  

Posted: January 23rd, 2014 10:52 AM

Meanwhile, A 10th grade OPRF student was arrested for selling drugs while in school! But we will never hear about that right?

dude  

Posted: January 23rd, 2014 7:24 AM

I wonder how the kid that got choked, the pizza guy that got held up at gun point, the other victims of recent violent crime in Oak Park feel about the stats.

Brendan  

Posted: January 23rd, 2014 7:03 AM

Crime has continued to spill over to the west side of Austin. The 1200 north block of Austin has some very serious problems. If these aren't taken care of then that crime and violence will continue to effect Oak Park.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: January 22nd, 2014 11:44 PM

Anyone know how many weapons felonies arrests for the year?

Mike Lennox from Oak Park  

Posted: January 22nd, 2014 8:32 PM

Great leadership ,men and women committed to serve and protect !!!! Thank You and be safe out there.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: January 22nd, 2014 5:57 PM

Speedway from Oak Park, Illinois, crime has dropped an average of 8 percent each year for over 40 years. There is no longer any more crime.

Speedway from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: January 22nd, 2014 5:40 PM

Oh come on! I hope everyone knows that you can change the facts to fit the statistic.

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