May 23, 2014 9:26 AM
Based on the Chico Police Department's annual crime report, 2013 saw the biggest increase in crime in 10 years, going up 14.5%. The biggest increase before that was back in 2004 when crime jumped nearly 13%. When breaking down the statistics, property crimes were the most prevalent. Larceny, or theft of property, is at an all-time high with more than 1,600 incidents. It also makes up roughly 54% of the total reported crimes. Auto thefts doubled, going up 54% last year in comparison to 28% in 2012. Assaults also went up quite a bit, going from 168 in 2012 to 216 in 2013. The report also shows that burglaries and rapes are down, and the number of crimes against people makes up only about 12% of the totals. Additionally, there were only 2 homicides last year. Chico Police say prisoner releases from AB 109 have definitely been a contributing factor, and staffing levels for the department are about as low as they have ever been. They say they would have to add 40 officers to get back to the man power they were at in 1980.