News From Terre Haute, Indiana

January 4, 2014

City’s violent crime rate up slightly in 2013

Burglaries, thefts, auto thefts still falling

Lisa Trigg
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — A homicide on the last day of 2013 helped boost the rate of violent crimes in Terre Haute.

A preliminary look at violent crimes handled by the Terre Haute Police Department shows that 174 violent crimes were investigated during the most recent 12 months ending Dec. 31, 2013.

Assistant Police Chief Shawn Keen told the Tribune-Star that the city has seen a 4 percent increase in violent crimes since the prior year, when the department investigated 167 violent crimes in 2012.

Violent crimes include murder, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Reports.

Keen said the only category of 2013 violent crimes that appears to have increased was aggravated assaults, which are attacks that involve the use of a weapon or result in serious bodily harm. There was no marketed increase in robberies, he said.

THPD investigated four homicides in 2013, he said. According to the FBI’s UCR data, the city also reported four homicides in 2012 and 2011, but only 2 in 2010.

The UCR data for 2013 has not been released by the FBI, as the year has just ended, and Keen said he still has some reports to review before a final report on 2013 crime data for the city will be made.

He said that arrests of suspects were made in all four homicides that occurred in the city in 2013.

“We have made arrests in every homicide that we’ve investigated for the last six years,” Keen said, “so none have been unsolved in that time.”

In the area of property crimes, which includes burglaries, theft and vehicle theft, the city has seen a dramatic decline of 34 percent since 2007 in the total number of property crimes, Keen said.

The city had 5,373 burglaries, thefts and auto thefts reported in 2006. The most recent data shows that a drop to 3,730 incidents in 2012, and Keen said that about 3,250 property crimes were reported in 2013.

“A lot of that decline has to do with more arrests in property crimes,” he said. “We have put more emphasis on that area, and the detectives have been successful in resolving many of those cases.”

Keen said that a more detailed look at the criminal investigations at THPD will be released in a few weeks.

Reporter Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254 or lisa.trigg@tribstar.com. Follow her on Twitter @TribStarLisa.