New Indy crime stats up and down
New information obtained by Eyewitness News shows us where the city is winning and losing its war against crime and there are a few surprises.
Crime statistics from IMPD show a disturbing increase in murder for the first half of the year. There were 72 killings occurred by the end of June, compared to 63 the same time last year - a 14 percent increase.
Aggravated assaults are up as well - 11 percent from 2013.
Here's the encouraging news. The number of rapes declined significantly to 161 from January to May. That's a 34 percent decrease.
Burglary is one of the city's most prevalent crimes. In a typical year, thieves hit more than 14,000 homes and businesses.
But this isn't a typical year.
We started out on this story because so many people seemed alarmed by so many more burglaries this year. As it turns out, there aren't more. In fact, there are more than 800 fewer burglaries than last year.
But among residents, it doesn't feel that way.
Kendra Hayes was at work when thieves jimmied a deadbolt lock and robbed her west side apartment of computers and jewelry.
When she hears people say crime isn't as bad as it appears to be, Hayes doesn't believe them. She shook her head, saying, "No, I don't know what they are looking at."
Her co-worker Suzanne Bautista doesn't know, either.
Bautista and her roommate's home, near 30th and College Avenue, was burglarized in June. Thieves took flat screen TVs, computers, tablets and something else.
"It's like an emotional rape," she said. "Seriously, it is an emotional rape because they take your safety away from you."
Everyone we talked to says it feels like more homeowners are being victimized. But the IMPD crime statistics obtained by Eyewitness News say something different.
In the first five months of this year, police investigated more than 4,200 burglaries. That is a lot, but significantly fewer than previous years.
Burglaries are down 17 percent from the same time period last year and down 25 percent from May 2012.
The numbers are encouraging to a community concerned with crime, but little comfort to victims.
Bautista said IMPD sent them a letter saying the investigation is no longer active.
"It seems like they don't care," she explained. "Like the smaller crimes are not important. Those areas are not important. That's how I felt."
Hayes' case is also unsolved. Her 12-year-old granddaughter lives with her.
"I am to the point now, I won't let her go home after school by herself," she said.
She says she's afraid the burglars will come back.
Even people who aren't victims say they feel like victims when crime occurs close to home. Thieves broke open the back door of the home next to Belinda Simpson.
"It's pretty scary. To think they have the right to come into your home and take what is not theirs," Simpson said.
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