The FBI recently released its 2011 Crime in the United States report, which breaks down and tracks crime by city.
In Troy, total incidents of violent crime increased overall between 2010 and 2011. While there were no murders in 2011 compared to one murder in 2010, forcible rape cases nearly doubled from nine in 2010 to 17 in 2011. Incidents of robbery increased from nine in 2010 to 14 in 2011, and the number of aggravated assaults increased, though only by one (from 40 in 2010 to 41 in 2011).
Incidents of property crime – which includes robberies, larceny/theft, motor vehicle theft and arson – also increased overall. The number of arsons increased sevenfold (from one to seven in 2010 and 2011, respectively).
Explaining the numbers
Despite the statistics, Troy Police Chief Gary Mayer reminds residents that "we're still the safest city in Michigan" and offered an explanation for some of the numbers.
When it comes to the number of forcible rapes, Mayer stressed that they were not committed randomly.
"None of Troy’s rapes were stranger incidents; they’re all, unfortunately, family issues or an acquaintance," Mayer said, adding that "rapes are any act that falls under the Michigan law of Criminal Sexual Conduct."
Mayer also clarified what counts as a robbery. "The robberies are not only reported robberies with a gun, but strong arm robbery where someone uses force to take something from somebody," he said. "Pulling a phone out of your hand and taking it would count as robbery."
In addition to an increase in strong arm robbery, there were a few fabricated robbery reports that may have skewed the numbers last year, he said.
When it comes to incidents of aggravated assault, which requires significant injury to the victim, Mayer said that while that number went up by one last year, "overall, those are trending down when you look at them long term."
Mayer also attributes the increase in vehicle thefts to a Detroit auto theft ring that stretched into Troy, and which the department helped bust earlier this year along with several other police departments and agencies.
Larceny was up this year partly due to "a couple incidents where we arrested youths going around to unlocked cars at night." He added that, due to the value of the heavy metals in catalytic converters, the department has also seen a spike in catalytic converter thefts.
As for the sevenfold increase in arsons, Mayer has two words: dumpster fire.
"Our arsons tend to be youths and individuals that do things like set dumpsters on fire," he said. "That’s mainly what those have been, and we’ve interviewed suspects."
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Troy crime data
Here are the incidents of crime in Troy by year and category:2008 2009 2010 2011 Population 80,491 80,182 79,794 80,919 Violent Crime Incidents
Assault 64 49 40 41 Total: 94 79 59 72 Property Crime Incidents
Burglary 307 231 292 236 Larceny/Theft 1,380 1,564 1,327 1,402
Arson6 3 1 7 Total: 1,852 1,880 1,728 1,780
Data courtesy of www.fbi.gov.