Violent crime is down by 7.4 percent in Fresno so far this year, police Chief Jerry Dyer said Wednesday during a monthly review of crime data. Property crime has dropped by 3.6 percent so far in 2017.
The comparison involves crime statistics so far this year compared to the same months in 2015 and 2016.
However, Dyer said gun violence continues to be a major concern, with 51 shootings during the last 28 days. The chief said 31 of those shootings were gang-related. There were eight murders in the 28 days, with four related to a mass shooting involving Kori Ali Muhammad, who is accused of committing the rampage on April 18. Of the other four, three were gang-related.
Among the other tropics Dyer and his staff covered in the session with the news media:
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▪ Auto theft is down by 16.1 percent in 2017, which means 206 fewer stolen cars than by this time in 2016.
▪ There has not been a robbery connected to social media in the past 28 days after a spike early in the year. Police recently opened “exchange centers” in the city’s five police districts, so those wishing to buy or sell on social media sites could make deals under video surveillance.
▪ Police in southwest Fresno are noticing on an increase in crime related to more homeless people in the area. Capt. Mark Salazar, who oversees the Southwest Policing District, said detectives are focusing on a fencing operation in Chinatown as a source of the problem.
▪ The closure of streets and overpasses due to high-speed rail and Caltrans construction, is forcing police to modify the deployment of officers. Capt. Burke Farrah, of the city’s Northwest Policing District, said that despite the closure of the Clinton Avenue overpass, response times have not lagged because some officers are being stationed west of Highway 99.