The number of rapes reported in Charlotte in the first quarter of this year increased by 17.3 percent compared with the same period in 2012, according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg crime statistics released during a Thursday news conference.
Deputy Chief Eddie Levins said the city saw an overall decrease in criminal offenses in the first quarter. Violent crimes were 5.3 percent lower than numbers reported in the first quarter of 2012 and property crimes 6.9 percent lower.
But police investigated 61 rapes between Jan. 1 and March 31 compared with 52 in those months last year. Levins said the suspects knew the victims in the majority of the cases, and several of the victims met their attackers in area nightclubs or bars.
We treat them just like a stranger crime during the investigations, Levins said.
Detectives investigated only eight homicides in the first quarter compared with 12 in 2012. Two of those happened last week, after a month without any being reported.
Levins said the homicides last week stemmed from drug deals gone wrong.
Violence related to marijuana sales has increased. Were seeing the influx of a lot more drugs, particularly marijuana, the deputy chief said. People think its a victimless crime and there is no violence associated with it, but I beg to differ.
CMPD officials said increasing drug activity also contributed to the slight uptick in robberies 412 were reported in the first quarter of 2013 over 411 last year.
Aggravated assaults were down by nearly 10 percent, and the total number of burglaries decreased by 16.2 percent to 1,474 from 1,759 investigated in the first part of 2012.
Police discussed the crime statistics in the parking lot of the Target supercenter at Northlake Centre Parkway, where North Division officers have been collaborating with store employees to share information about retail crime trends.
Total larceny cases decreased by just more than 4 percent in the first quarter of 2013.
Steele: 704-358-5067 on Twitter: @steelecs
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