SPECIAL REPORT: The number of murders, rapes and robberies in New Jersey may have remained steady last year, but two crimes increased dramatically: burglaries and car thefts.
Reflecting what police say is heightened desperation by drug addicts and other unemployed members of the lower class, burglaries spiked by 11 percent and stolen vehicles by 12 percent, according to the 2011 Uniform Crime Report released by the state Attorney General’s Office.
Nowhere is that explanation clearer than in the total value of stolen jewelry and “precious metals” — from $62.6 million in 2010 to a whopping $77.1 million last year, a 23% increase.
Or consider: Throughout the United States, the number of burglaries last year remained roughly the same as the year before.
If you subtracted New Jersey, then, break-ins nationwide would be down.
For a sense of how property crimes have become the biggest threat statewide, compare:
Bergen County burglaries jumped by 9% and car thefts by 7% last year. Meanwhile, violent crime in Bergen was down by 6%.
Just yesterday, Maywood residents reported three break-ins.
If that weren’t enough, here are two more sobering stats: Of all burglaries in New Jersey last year, less than 13% were solved.
For car thefts: barely 5%.
Of $40.8 million worth of property stolen in Bergen last year, only 18% was recovered.
Police in Bergen County expect the numbers of burglaries and car thefts this year to leap again, as they devote more and more resources to solving property crimes.
Statewide, police reported 39,794 break-ins for 2010 — which jumped to 43,208 last year. For every 1,000 legal residents in the state, five were burglary victims.
Three-quarters of those burglaries were to residences — a large majority of them during the day.
The average loss: $2,200 worth of valuables, not counting the cost of repairs, increased security — or emotional damage.
Car thefts leaped from 15,555 to 17,423.
Combined, they pushed up the overall non-violent crime rate by 3%.
Violent crime? A difference of a single report — down from 27,174 in 2010 to 27,173 last year.
On the positive side, Elmwood Park reduced burglaries, from 87 in 2010 to 68 last year.
Englewood also had a sharp dip, from 177 to 111. So did Rutherford, from 73 to 54.
Hackensack break-ins, however, increase from 89 to 122. A similar spike occurred in Garfield — from 98 to 138.
Among the smaller municipalities, Wyckoff saw a dramatic increase, from 19 to 47.
Leonia went from 19 to 43, while neighboring Palisades Park went from 42 to 78.
Even tiny Allendale, with 6,500 residents, went from 9 to 21.
Click here for the entire: 2011 NEW JERSEY UNIFORM CRIME REPORT
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