Alexandria Police say the COVID-19 pandemic had a lot to do with a 19% crime surge 2020.
Police released the city’s Part 1 crime statistics for 2020 on Tuesday, and included are the reported numbers of homicides, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults.
“2020 provided a unique set of challenges,” Police Chief Michael Brown said in a statement. “Our officers dedicated themselves to protecting the City and community members, while working through the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, both at home and on the job, as well the fallout and questions brought on by the death of George Floyd. I couldn’t be prouder of them.”
Violent crime reportedly increased 3.33% over last year. There were three three homicides in 2020, up one death over 2019, and aggravated assaults increased 6%, with 208 incidents reported.
Residential burglaries fell “drastically” while commercial burglaries climbed nearly 50%, “likely due to stores being temporarily closed or having limited hours,” according to police.
Vehicle thefts also increased 54%, and police said the cause is largely from owners leaving cars unattended and unlocked during the pandemic. Police also reported that few thefts from vehicles involved use of force.
“There are simple steps vehicle owners can take to reduce their risk of becoming victims. Check on your vehicle daily, make sure the doors are locked and there are no valuables inside,” Brown said. “You should also move the vehicle periodically to reduce the appearance it is not being used.”
Below are the 2020 and 2019 Part 1 crime stats for Alexandria: