Oak Park incidents of reported crime fell by 8 percent compared to the first half of 2012, the village reported Aug. 7.
The Oak Park Police Department released crime data from the halfway mark of the year provided bi-annually to the FBI's Uniform Crime Report, which reports the most serious offenses.
According to the data, 811 crimes were reported in the first half of 2013, down from 880 in the same period of 2012.
Thefts, burglaries down
Thefts, which represent about 65 percent of reported crimes so far this year, were down to 541 in in 2013 compared to 605 in 2012. These include shoplifting crimes.
Police made fewer theft arrests in 2013 also, down to 87 from 122 arrests the first half of 2012.
The number of burglaries reported fell by 10 percent to 174 in 2013 down from 194 in the first half of 2012. More than half of the burglaries reported were to garages, a village press release said, and more than half of those involved unsecured doors.
Neighborly vigilance was helping to lower that number, said Oak Park Deputy Police Chief Anthony Ambrose.
"Citizens are locking their property — their cars, their garages, their houses, and lowering the crimes of opportunity," Ambrose said. "Also people are being good neighbors and calling police when they feel someone is doing something suspicious in the neighborhood."
Police made seven burglary arrests so far this year.
Robberies almost unchanged
The number of reported robberies was almost unchanged with 41 instances in 2013, up two from 39 in the first half of 2012. Ambrose said many of those were cellphone robberies. He said they were crimes of opportunity.
"A lot of people have their cell phones out," he said. "Being aware of our surroundings is something we all need to work on."
Police made 13 robbery arrests so far this year, up from 10 last year.
Arson, assault, battery
Three incidents of arson were reported the first half of this year, said Detective Sgt. Michael Richardson, up from zero in 2012. Of those, Richardson said, two were garbage cans set on fire.
Richardson said police arrested Steven L. Chew, 26, of Chicago after he allegedly set fire to kitchen blinds in a home on the 400 block of Taylor around 3:15 a.m. Jan. 19 after a domestic argument.
Incidences of aggravated assault/battery were on an upward trend, up to 21 in the first half of this year from 14 last year. This represented an increase of 50 percent, but the number of incidents was seven more than last year, Richardson said.
There were 15 arrests for aggravated assault/battery this year. The village characterized this increase as "a reminder that serious crimes do occur in Oak Park, but in small numbers considering Oak Park shares a border with the nation's third largest city."
According to the village report, police responded to more than 16,400 calls for service during the first half of 2013, and most were categorized as medium- to low- priority calls, such as accidents with no injuries.
Three-and-a half minutes was the average response time reported by the village for police to a high-priority call.
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