Alexandria has seen an 18% overall surge in crimes against people and property so far this year, according to Part I crime statistics recently released by Alexandria Police.
There has also been a 47% increase in car thefts, a 19% rise in thefts overall and a 15% rise in felonious assaults.
“Much of the increase in larcenies from vehicles and stolen cars and bikes can be attributed to owners leaving them unattended for long periods of time while at home during the pandemic,” notes an APD release. “Very few larcenies from vehicles have involved breaking windows; they are typically from unlocked vehicles.”
On Friday, Police Chief Michael L. Brown also asked the public for help in identifying suspects responsible for the uptick in shots fired-related incidents. Two days later, police arrested and charged a 19-year-old man for the city’s second murder this year.
The increase in shots fired incidents, however, is not included in the Part I crime stats.
There have also been nine rapes so far this year, down from 17 in 2019. Aggravated assaults are down 3%, and there has been a 25% decrease in residential burglaries.
“The decrease in residential burglaries is likely connected to residents being present in their homes, since these offenses usually target unoccupied residences,” according to police. “For the same reason, commercial burglaries (typically theft from unattended but locked businesses) are up while larcenies from buildings (typically theft from businesses and housing complexes while they are open) are down.”
In April, ALXnow reported a surge in crime during a period that Alexandria Police sent a large percentage of their patrol force home to telework.
“It is important to note Alexandria generally has a low crime rate and a low number of criminal incidents,” police said. “As such, small fluctuations in incidents when comparing annual data can lead to large percentage changes that must be considered in context.”
Graph via Alexandria Police