Nevada’s crime rate up nearly 9 percent |

Nevada’s crime rate up nearly 9 percent

Associated Press

LAS VEGAS – Nevada’s crime rate was up nearly 9 percent last year and more than a quarter billion dollars worth of property was stolen, according to a new state crime report.

The annual report was issued last week by the state Department of Public Safety and breaks down the 110,520 crimes reported in Nevada last year. The statewide statistics are gathered from local police agencies.

The report said 18.4 percent of the crimes committed last year were solved, down 7.5 percent from 2002.

The report also said $258.6 million worth of property was stolen and law enforcement officers recovered only $66.5 million of it, or 25.7 percent.

There were 101 hate crimes in Nevada in 2003 and all but 15 were reported by Las Vegas police.

There were 20,849 reports of car theft last year, an increase of 19.2 percent over the 17,485 cars stolen in 2002. Law enforcement cleared 14.5 percent of all the motor vehicle thefts.

There were 152,962 people arrested in Nevada last year, down 1 percent from the 153,065 arrested last year.

Homicides rose 7.1 percent for a total of 197 in 2003 with investigators clearing 50.3 percent of the cases. Sixteen percent of the killings were “drug related” and 10 percent were the result of a “domestic conflict,” according to the annual report.

A handgun was used in 55.1 percent of the killings and 11.9 percent were committed with a knife or cutting device.

Of those killed, 59 were females. The report said 173 of the killers were male and 20 were women.

Violent crimes that include homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assault decreased by 0.4 percent in 2003 with 13,811 offenses.

There were 871 rapes reported to law enforcement, down from the 930 in 2002. Robberies rose 1.8 percent to 5,215 in 2003. And aggravated assaults fell 1.3 percent to 7,528 in 2003.

Property crimes consisting of burglary, larceny, car theft and arson rose 14.4 percent in 2003 to 12,180 offenses. The number of reported burglaries rose 15.9 percent; larceny was up 12.4 percent and arson decreased 9 percent.