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Crime falls in Montgomery County

Crime in Montgomery County fell nearly 7 percent in 2009, driven by a sharp drop in burglaries and car thefts, according to county statistics released Thursday.

The county recorded 13 homicides and 124 rapes, both of which were near 25-year-lows, and follow trends throughout the region.

"We’re doing a better job putting cops where they need to be," Police Chief J. Thomas Manger said.

Gang-related crime also dropped, reaching its lowest level in five years.

The statistics released Thursday covered only "Part I" crimes, which tend to be the more serious incidents that are tracked in crime-rate calculations. Less serious "Part II" crimes, such as vandalism and minor assaults, will be released later.

Murders fell 38.1 percent to 13 from 21 between 2008 and 2009; rapes fell 5.3 percent to 124 from 131; robberies fell 9.8 percent to 992 from 1,100; aggravated assaults increased 8.3 percent to 904 from 835; burglaries decreased 16.4 percent to 3,011 from 3,603; larcenies fell 3.5 percent to 18,356 from 19,027; and automobile thefts decreased 23.3% to 1,732 from 2,258.

A map of 2009 robberies in Montgomery County. The darker the spot, the higher the density. (Montgomery Police)

Manger said that technology -- both inside and outside the department -- continues to help police solve crimes.

Inside the department, police are using computerized crime data analysis to target hot spots, and using more DNA testing and other forensic tools to help prove cases.

Outside the department, detectives are able to make more use of surveillance cameras to solve crimes -- even images captured by businesses across the streets from the businesses targeted by criminals.

“There are cameras everywhere,” Manger said.

-- Dan Morse

By Dan Morse  |  April 15, 2010; 3:30 PM ET
Categories:  Around the Nation , Crime Statistics , Dan Morse , Montgomery  
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Thank you Montgomery County and my Rockville City Police forces. Now lets build a wall between DC, PG County and MC, and we should be good.

Posted by: bbirdy202 | April 15, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

This is great news, but it was predicted. Crime in DC and Prince George's county are also at record lows.

Posted by: TheMarylander | April 15, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Good to know that crime has dropped, in spite of the recession and all the gang-related violence we hear about. Maybe I will use the Metro and the Silver Spring station after dark...

Posted by: DecafDrinker | April 15, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

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