Despite a string of bank robberies and an uptick in rapes, 2010 crime in the Port City was at its lowest level in 45 years, according to new statistics from the Alexandria Police Department.
Homicides, robberies, burglaries and auto thefts ebbed in 2010 while overall major crimes declined by roughly .9 percent or 33 incidents, said Jody Donaldson, department spokesman. Authorities released the results a little over a week ago after submitting them to the Federal Bureau of Investigations for final tallying.
In 2010, the department investigated two murders a double homicide for which Simon Bahta Asfeha is standing trial. There were five homicides in 2009.
Robberies fell from 143 in 2009 to 125 in 2010, down about 12.6 percent, according to the data.
Burglaries, which the city saw 325 of in 2009 compared to 310 in 2010, dropped 4.6 percent. Auto thefts fell the most in terms of cases during that same period, from 344 stolen vehicle reports in 2009 to 282 in 2010 a roughly 18 percent drop off.
The numbers arent all rosy. Rapes rose by an additional five cases in the previous year, up from 15 in 2009. Larceny reports surged from 2,755 to 2,805 a rise of 50 cases over 2009. Aggravated assaults climbed by 10 incidents from 115 in 2009.
Taken together, the statistics show Alexandria coming off of a year with the lowest crime rate since 1966, Donaldson said. Nuisance crimes were not included in the year-end review.
Chief Earl Cook credited the departments staff with the overall statistical decline in crime in a statement. He also praised the Sheriffs Department, Commonwealths Attorneys Office and civic organizations for their help in keeping the city largely safe.
Their dedication, passion, and performance, regardless of challenges, is the driving force behind our successes, Cook said. The police departments mission is to make Alexandria one of the safest cities in America.