Feb 172017

By Claire Byun

Mid-City crime totals for January stayed the same from last year, though auto burglaries and rapes increased.

Eight auto burglaries were reported last month compared to five in January 2015, according to New Orleans Police Department records. There were two more auto thefts than the prior year as well, though the total number of crimes reported remained stable.

The Mid-City Security District board of directors met Thursday evening to go over monthly crime trends. A total of 46 crimes were reported in January, which is the same as the year before. Assault and theft crimes decreased, though all other categories stayed the same or increased.

Mid-City had the first two murders of the year – there were no murders in the area last year until April – and rape increased by one incident. Jim Olsen, chair of the special district, said police changed the way they classify sexual assaults which is partially why the total increased.

“Any instance of inappropriate touching goes into the rape file, and they don’t tell us which is which,” Olsen said.

Three rapes were reported in January and one has been cleared, Olsen said.

There were nine armed robberies – compared to 10 last year – and two simple robberies reported. Auto thefts increased by two incidents, though that’s lower than the last few months.

Two victims told police they left their keys in the stolen car, Olsen said.

“But people are finally starting to lock their doors,” he added.

Total crime around Mid-City decreased by almost 8 percent last year, though two crimes still trended upward over the 12-month period.

Rape reports increased by 40 percent – or four reports – since 2015, according to numbers from the New Orleans Police Department. Auto thefts also increased by nearly 12 percent in 2016.

The murder rate was reduced by two incidents, burglary took a 26 percent drop and assault decreased by nearly 4 percent, according to police statistics. The number of simple robberies – 14 – remained the same both years.

Mid-City Security District recorded a total of 501 crimes last year compared to 541 in 2015. March of 2016 saw the biggest spike in crime – 61 reported incidents – with only 26 crimes reported in November, according to police statistics.

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