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City Crime Rate Rises Slightly
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Two categories of crime showed no change in Escalon from 2006 to 2007, though six other reported categories did increase from year to year.

For those areas where there was no change, both of the categories listed no crimes in 2006 or 2007. They were homicide and arson, with the two categories continuing a streak of zeroes that date back several years.

The recently released statistics deal with "Part I" crimes, predominantly felonies, or major crimes.

"In stolen vehicles, we had three more this year (2007) than last (2006)," said Police Chief Doug Dunford. "We also had a huge increase in burglaries, that's where we'll put a major emphasis."

Several of the vehicles were recovered and many, said Dunford, were stolen by people passing through the community and needing transportation from 'here to there.'

There were also increases in simple assaults, which went from 49 in 2006 to 74 in 2007. The majority of the assaults occurred on school campuses, and often dealt with students getting into pushing and shoving matches. An aggravated assault, which is a higher degree, can include injury, and those numbers rose just slightly, from 17 cases in 2006 to 20 in 2007.

There were four reported rapes, up from three the year before, but Dunford said in three of the four cases, the victim did not press charges, just wanted the incident documented.

Burglaries went up to 86 from 44.

"We made nine total arrests," Dunford said of the burglary cases. "A lot of jewelry was stolen this year."

Some of the property was recovered. Still, Dunford said residents can help cut down on the number of burglaries by safeguarding their own property.

"We had about $32,000 worth of items stolen from vehicles that were left unlocked," he pointed out. "Just thefts and items taken from stolen cars, from laptops to cash to phones."