Property crimes involving break-ins and automobiles got worse in April, Seattle Police statistics for the second month under the city’s COVID-19 restrictions show.
In March, CHS reported totals showing a big jump in burglaries in the East Precinct covering Capitol HIll and the Central District as many shuttered businesses made tempting targets.
The trend continued in April with 148 reported break-ins at commercial and residential locations, a 6% jump from March and more than twice as many burglaries reported in April 2019.
Across Seattle, the property crime trends are part of a transition in overall crime with break-ins and rip-offs filling in where violent crimes like assaults and street robberies have dropped off.
Auto theft and car prowls have also boomed with totals about 20% higher than previous years — but that’s a trend for the East Precinct that started before the pandemic lockdown. SPD says it has identified “hot spots” for auto related crimes including areas of “main arterial roads, presence of commercial lots, multi-family housing, and higher spatial concentration of disorder calls.”
April’s updated statistics also show a softening of one bright spot CHS reported in March. Updated totals show that with increased social distancing and people mostly at home, violent crimes like assault have dropped — but there were even more property crimes in March than previously reported due to updated reporting. The result? Total crime levels are the same as ever in Seattle even with the lockdowns.
While Seattle as the state’s largest city has one of the highest crime rates in Washington, the state is noted for its unusually low crime totals.
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