Major crime dropped in River Forest last year with double-digit decreases in many categories, police officials said last week.
Part I offenses, which includes murder, criminal sexual assault, robbery, burglary, arson and theft, dropped 12 percent from 348 in 2012 to 305 in 2013. Auto thefts and robberies dipped as well. Arrests for these crimes rose by 17 percent.
In addition, Part II crimes (assault, battery, criminal trespass, and disorderly conduct) declined by 5 percent in 2013 compared with the previous year.
The only crime category that increased was disorderly conduct, and the only areas that remained unchanged were burglaries and assaults, according to River Forest Police Chief Greg Weiss.
Although they would like to see crime decrease in all categories, the village again was fortunate in 2013, Weiss said. He noted a variety of factors that led to the reduction.
"We can attribute some of our positive numbers to a professional group of police officers, better use of technology, and a supportive community who helped make sure they were securing their property, remaining vigilant and not making it easy for the criminal," he said.
Here's the breakdown:
Criminal sexual assaults: 1 in 2013, 2 in 2012
Robbery: 5 in 2013, 8 in 2012, a 38 percent decrease
Burglary: Unchanged, with 43 break-ins each year. This category is limited to structures. Weiss said there were a couple of strings throughout the year. One occurred this summer on the north end of town. Arrests have been made, said Weiss, who attributed the crime solving to eager officers who are good at recognizing patterns and good communication between the patrol and detective divisions.
Arson: None this year, one last year.
Car thefts: 1 in 2013, 4 in 2012. Weiss speculated that people are locking their cars, and manufacturers are also making cars that are harder to steal.
Thefts: 190 in 2013; 214 in 2012, an 11 percent decline. In the summer police handle more bicycle thefts; during the holidays pickpockets and package thefts are more common, Weiss noted.
Battery: 14 in 2013, 32 in 2012. Weiss said the criteria for classifying a crime as an assault is wide, everything from spitting to grabbing or punching someone.
Criminal trespass: 75 in 2013, down from 88 in 2012
Disorderly conduct: 48 in 2013, 43 in 2012
Police made 85 arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol, up 18 percent from last year's figure of 72.
Arrests for possession of a controlled substance also climbed from 33 in 2012 to 60 in 2013.
Calls for service overall declined by 1 percent.
Police wrote more traffic citations, from 9,906 in 2012 to 9,762 in 2013.
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