County homicides, robberies increase in '95 Declining categories include rapes, aggravated assaults

March 06, 1996|By TaNoah V. Sterling | TaNoah V. Sterling,SUN STAFF

Robberies rose 12.7 percent and homicides increased 45.5 percent in Anne Arundel County last year, according to county police statistics released yesterday. Overall, crime was up slightly from 1994.

The features that attract business to the county -- good roads and proximity to Baltimore and Washington -- also attract robbers to local businesses, said police spokesman Sgt. Jeff Kelly.

"They [robbers] say, 'You're easy to get to and easy to get out of,' " Sgt. Kelly said. "We're just right in the middle between Baltimore and Washington, and we have a terrific highway system."

Gas stations and chain stores, most along major thoroughfares, were the hardest hit last year, the report said.

Police have begun several programs to combat robberies, including comparing methods used in robberies here with those in surrounding jurisdictions, and taking measures to ensure that information is better shared among the district stations.

The Robbery Unit boasts that it cleared 39 percent of its cases last year through arrests, compared with 27 percent nationally, according to the Uniform Crime Report.

Homicides increased from 11 in 1994 to 16 in 1995. Police said they have solved all but four. Five of the cases were random acts of violence, four involved domestic violence, two were tied to a robbery and one was connected to a carjacking, they said.

While robberies and homicides in- creased, rape and aggravated assault decreased, resulting in a 1.2 percent drop in the violent crime category.

Nonviolent serious crimes -- breaking and entering, theft, auto larceny and arson -- rose 4.3 percent.

Together, the two categories make up Part I crimes, which have increased overall by 3.9 percent, statistics show. Theft and arson accounted for the largest increase in the nonviolent category, with a 6.7 percent and a 100 percent increase, respectively.

Juvenile arrests increased 17.9 percent, the report said. Police say juveniles are most often arrested for theft, the third-highest arrest category for adults.

Ten percent more juveniles and 6.8 percent more adults were arrested last year on theft charges, excluding auto larceny. Thefts of bicycles and thefts from unlocked storage areas contributed to the increase in this crime, police said.

Pub Date: 3/06/96

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