Violent crimes spike in Charlotte compared to same time last year

Violent crimes spike in Charlotte compared to same time last year

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police said that during the first quarter of 2017- from January to March - violent crimes spiked 8.6 percent, property crimes dropped 0.6 percent and overall crimes increased by 0.8 percent. These statistics are compared to the first quarter in 2016.

"Why, why, why does everything seem to increase so drastically?," Amber Coker asked as she read the crime stats. "The vehicle thefts jumps out at me particularly because it happened to me."

According CMPD's numbers, 612 vehicles were stolen so far in 2017. At this time in 2016, there were 552 vehicles stolen.

"The vehicle theft happened at my home so that hit me a little harder because it's a violation," Coker said. "The robberies, we don't know if that happened in public – for instance public mugging or if it's home invasions."

Police statistics show there's a 20.1 percent increase in robberies in 2017. So far in 2017, 513 robberies have been reported, which is compared to 427 robberies that occurred during 2016's first quarter.

"I do feel safe in the city. I do feel safe. I try to not live my life in fear but I do know there are things in the city could make me not feel safe, but I just try to be positive," said Crystal Burns.

Burns finds the homicide numbers troubling. At the end of March, police said there were 21 homicides in 2017. These numbers are compared to 11 homicides that occurred at the same time in 2016.

"So when I see that, I think you can't really prevent homicides. There are things you can do to feel a little bit safer, but in some cases you never really know what provoked someone, what really caused it even if it was not motivated at all," Burns said. "I think homicide is wrong overall and you have to protect yourself. You have to protect your space because you never know anyone's mental state or what they may find as a threat to make them just snap and kill someone. I think that the worst thing someone can do is take a life."

Coker said the homicide rate also worries her and would like to see a breakdown of the circumstances behind the killings.

"If it was 21 homicides due to gang violence, that would be specific and I can identify where the issue is that we would need to address" Coker said.

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