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Crime drops in Island County

The number of total crimes reported in Island County dropped by 7 percent in 2007, according to a preliminary report by the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs.

Reports of violent crime rose, however, from 2006 to 2007 in Island County. In 2006, 65 cases of violent crime - which includes murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault - were reported. In 2007, that number rose to 73. Countywide, violent crime rose by 12 percent from 2006 to 2007.

A rise in violent crime incidents reported by the Island County Sheriff's Office made up the bulk of the increase, according to the preliminary study. The number of violent crimes reported to the sheriff's office rose by 12.3 percent in 2007.

Property crimes, which include reports of arson, burglary, larceny theft and motor vehicle theft, dropped by 7.6 percent across Island County in 2007.

Property crimes reported solely to the Island County Sheriff's Office dropped by 8.9 percent. It was a decrease to 374 reported incidents in 2007 from 414 incidents in 2006.

The statistics also show a 28 percent drop in burglaries in Langley; a decrease from 14 incidents in 2006 to 10 in 2007.

Oak Harbor saw a substantial increase in the number of reported car thefts. The number rose from 24 reported thefts in 2006 to 42 in 2007; a 75 percent increase.

The Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs prepares a report each year on the numbers of crimes reported to city and county police departments across Washington. The final report on criminal activity in 2007 is expected to be released in late June.

Statewide, the 2007 Washington Uniform Crime Report shows an 8.4 percent decrease in crime index offenses (murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny theft, motor vehicle theft and arson) in 2007 compared to 2006.

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