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Cedar Rapids Police Reports Decrease In Robberies And Shots Fired

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- While violent crime is up slightly across the city, Cedar Rapids Police Chief Wayne Jerman praised the department's efforts to lower specific violent offenses.

"I am encouraged with the department's targeted crime efforts," Jerman said in a press release Tuesday. "There were specific crimes that we were concerned about in 2012. The department targeted these crimes and we saw significant results."

The crimes targeted by police in 2013 were robberies and shots fired. Both offenses saw a decrease from 2012 to 2013. Reports of robberies decreased from 101 in 2012 to 91 last year, a nearly 10 percent drop off. Reports of shots fired fell by 12.5 percent, from 64 to 56 during that same time frame. Overall, violent crime - which also includes aggravated assaults, assaults on officers, murder and sexual assaults - increased 7 percent, from 488 offenses in 2012 to 523 last year.

Most of that change could be attributed to an increase in aggravated assaults, which went up by 23 percent, from 198 to 244.

Among other offenses:

- Arson dropped by 37 percent, from 30 to 19.

- Auto thefts increased by 20 percent, 231 to 278; but burglaries decreased from 933 to 920.

- Acts of criminal mischief decreased by 15 percent and thefts from vehicles dropped 24 percent.

- Possession of a controlled substance increased by 15 percent, from 802 offenses to 924; delivery of a controlled substance dropped from 30 offenses to 18. Police encountered six more meth labs, 28 compared to 22, in 2013.

Jerman also noted in the release that officers seized 102 firearms in 2013 that were illegally possessed or used in a crime.

"The seizure of firearms by patrol officers shows their continued dedication to making Cedar Rapids a safer community," Jerman said in the release.

Overall, police made 9 percent more arrests in 2013, 9,625 compared to 8,835.

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