By Anna Lothson
Oak Park's crime rate rose 11 percent from 2011 to 2012, primarily because of a spike in theft and a bump in burglaries, according to data released Monday by the Oak Park Police Department.
Theft rates rose 14 percent in one year as 1,339 were reported in 2012, compared to 1,176 in 2011. Burglaries, up 13 percent, totaled 424 in 2012.
Arrests were up as well — by 42 percent (291 in 2012; 205 in 2011), including 68 percent more theft arrests (210 compared to 125 in 2011).
According to the news release, police also closed more cases. Overall, theft and burglaries represented nearly 90 percent of the crimes reported in the village.
Oak Park police investigated 202 more crimes in 2012 than 2011 — 1,959 crimes were reported in 2012 compared to the 1,757 reported in 2011, which was the lowest annual crime rate on the books.
Despite the increase, the 2012 crime rate ranks as the third lowest since the police department began keeping statistics.
The Oak Park data was compiled under the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Index, a system used by law enforcement agencies to collect and report statistics, with a focus on what are considered the most serious offenses — murder, criminal sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault/battery, burglary, theft, motor vehicle theft and arson.
Overall, police responded to 33,521 calls for service in 2012, down from 35,431 in 2011, a 5 percent decrease.
According to the police department's data, the average response time in 2012 was three minutes, 35 seconds for high priority calls; four minutes, 44 seconds for medium-priority calls (such as accidents with no injuries); and six minutes, 22 seconds for low-priority calls.
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