Burglaries, larceny increase in Florida

Oct 15, 2008

The Tampa Tribune--October 14, 2008

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — As the economy has sunk, burglary and theft have been on the rise, and Florida’s top prosecutor warns that it could get worse.

Crime in Florida increased by 1.6 percent in the first six months of 2008, with burglaries up 3.6 percent as the state’s economy slowed. Violent crime, however, was down 2.4 percent, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement reported Tuesday.

Nearly $876 million in property was stolen during the first half of the year.

Attorney General Bill McCollum said Tuesday he fears things could get worse.

“Crime will go up with the economy being tighter over the next several months,” he said.

“I don’t think any of us should be happy that violent crime is as high as it is and I think all of us should be unhappy that all crime generally is up,” McCollum said.

The report included 581 murders during the first six months of the year that included 79 from domestic violence and one Miami police officer who was killed in January while on duty. Twelve children were victims in domestic violence cases, the report said.

Adult arrests increased by 4.3 percent compared to the same period last year while juvenile arrests increased 0.9 percent.

FDLE said car theft dropped by 10.1 percent. Larceny, which includes shoplifting, purse snatching and pick pockets, rose by 3.8 percent between January and July.