Serious crime in Arlington County dropped 5.9 percent in 2010, spurred by big drops in auto theft and larceny, according to stats released Wednesday by the Arlington police.
Robberies, aggravated assaults and burglaries dropped slightly, but vehicle thefts decreased by 29 percent — from 297 to 211 — and the number of larcenies dropped from 4,140 in 2009 to 3,942. Homicides went from two to one, and rapes increased from 15 to 24, but both of those crimes are typically random in the suburbs and not as subject to proactive policing.
But Arlington’s real problem? “Larceny — Coin-Operated Machine.” Up 10 percent in 2010: from 10 to 11. (You don’t see many departments break out the coin-operated category.) DARN YOU, Kit-Kat Thief!
[Note: Arlington’s press release says their crime dropped 7.6 percent. That is the crime rate per capita, calculated as a ratio of serious crimes per 100,000 residents, which will go down when your population is going up. What’s remarkable in NoVa is that the raw numbers of crime continue to drop even as the population grows, which is counterintuive. Fairfax in particular has done an amazing job at reducing raw numbers of serious crime while their population soared the last 20 years. I’ll write more about that some other time.]