Overall crime in Fresno is down 12.8 percent in 2018, Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said Wednesday in a monthly report on crime trends.
Among the highlights:
Homicides are down 36 percent for the year, rapes are down by 18 percent, burglaries dipped by 24 percent and larceny, including vehicle burglaries, dropped by about 12 percent. But the the chief noted that overall violent crime is up by 1 percent, driven by a 6 percent rise in aggravated assaults.
Dyer and Capt. Mark Salazar of the Southwest Policing District highlighted a drop in every single crime category in that region of the city.
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Salazar contrasted 2016, when there was a southwest shooting every day, to this year, when he said the district is on track to have fewer than 100 by the end of December. He cited a police strategy of prevention, intervention, including getting officers involved in the lives of young southwest Fresno kids, and enforcement, which entails actively searching for armed gang members and taking guns off the street.
In other highlights of the police presentation:
▪ The FBI is analyzing cellular tower data in northwest Fresno in connection with an apparent hate crime at the Temple Beth Israel synagogue in late October. Capt. Burke Farrah said data was sent to the FBI’s crime lab in Quantico, Virginia, and that may lead to a search warrant in the hunt for suspects.
▪ Police are warning of a series of window smash auto burglaries in northeast Fresno, including the Shaw Avenue and Herndon Avenue corridors as well as near East Champlain Drive and East Perrin Avenue. Drivers who park in those areas were advised not to leave any items in vehicles. In addition, drivers were urged to place valuables in the trunks of cars before stopping in a parking lot, since crooks sometimes watch the lots.