Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – Gun-related crimes are down in the city of Syracuse, but thefts and break-ins are on the rise.
Nearly 32,000 crimes were reported in the city last year. Police Chief Frank Fowler shared the latest on crime trends on Wednesday.
There were 177,000 calls for robberies, car crashes and homicides last year.
“Felony arrests are up, misdemeanor arrests are up and violations are up,” Chief Fowler told NewsChannel 9.
Chief Fowler crunched the numbers and found some progress with what he calls last year's "focus crimes" involving guns. He says there were 247 calls for shots fired – a 10 percent drop – and gun-related injuries were down 8 percent.
Chief Fowler says police presence is the first level of enforcement on the street.
"Once we see that police officer there, we immediately change our minds because we know that increases the likelihood of getting caught,” he said.
This year, police are shifting their focus toward double-digit spikes in thefts and break-ins. An abundance of vacant properties in the city have provided an easy target for copper thieves.
Overall, police investigated nearly 2,000 burglaries last year, up 14 percent from the previous year. Robberies jumped 16 percent, stolen vehicle cases are up 15 percent and there were 3,500 larcenies in the city last year.
"Very expensive iPhones, tablets and various types of computers are smaller and more expensive and that is what we are discovering the bulk of our robberies are for,” Chief Fowler said.
The chief oversees fewer officers than he had a few years ago and word from Mayor Stephanie Miner is that everyone needs to tighten their belts.
"She is going to be looking at all areas in the city to see where we can make those tough necessary cuts. And I don't believe that the police department is immune from those cuts,” Chief Fowler continued.
There were 14 homicides in Syracuse last year, one more than the year before. There was also a 19 percent increase in rapes reported and many of the victims knew their attackers. The chief is hoping local domestic violence services can address that trend.
On the web --Syracuse Police Crime Maps and Statistics