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CHICO, Calif. – New crime statistics are out for the City of Chico and overall crime is reportedly down by 2%.
The Chico Police Department said the numbers from 2018 to 2019 are mostly positive, especially considering the 21% population increase after the Camp Fire.
However, the crime report also shows a 21% spike in vehicle theft.
Action News Now spoke to people about the new data. They said they’re not surprised about the increase in car thefts.
In 2018, there were a total of 315 car thefts reported. While in 2019, that number climbed to 381.
Action News Now spoke the Chico Police Chief Michael O’Brien and asked what’s being done about it.
“We look at a number of ways to mitigate that issue,” Chief O’Brien said. “One is through education, letting people know what not to do, leaving cars running without anyone in the car. We’re also looking at technology to arrest more people that are responsible for car theft.”
O’Brien said automated license plate readers are also being used. They scan vehicles that are stolen. He added that they’re looking into other technology to help track down stolen cars.
RELATED: Chico crime statistics from 2018
When you look at the Violent crime data chart, it dropped about 9% overall in the City of Chico from 2018 to 2019.
But, reports show a 16% increase in rape in the years’ time.
The crime report shows that in 2018 there were a total of 86 cases of rape reported; that number went up to 100 in 2019.
Chief O'Brien said they are not sure what led to the spike, but that he takes sexual assault very seriously.
"We do spend time educating, I know the university spends time educating the student population on the dangers of different situations and individuals, there's always a concern regarding that," O'Brien said.
Chico State students told Action News Now, they're surprised with the increase.
“I mean, I don’t really know what can be done to help it,” Chico State student, Caleigh Silva said. “Other than increase patrol and make sure people are aware of safety features on their phone, keeping people aware of their resources to know who to reach out to and keep yourself safe.”
The Police Department is still analyzing the rape increase data.