A.L. Police Dept.: Overall crime rate continues to decline

Published 5:40 pm Friday, March 22, 2024

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The Albert Lea Police Department released its annual crime statistics this week, reporting that local crime decreased 2% overall from 2022 to 2023, based on a statewide crime reporting system.

According to the numbers, Part 1 crimes — which include murder, manslaughter, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, arson and human trafficking — increased by 11%, while Part II crimes decreased by 8%.

Part II crimes include things such as vandalism, simple assaults, driving under the influence and fraud.

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Albert Lea Public Safety Director J.D. Carlson said this is the third year in a row for the crime rate to decrease.

“We continue to see positive results from excellent public safety services,” he said. “The bottom line is that Albert Lea remains a very safe community.”

The crime with the largest number of reports was larceny-theft with 289, followed next by vandalism with 146, simple assaults with 90 and drug abuse violations with 87. There were 61 reports of driving under the influence, 57 reports of disorderly conduct and 45 reports of fraud.

Carlson said the disappointing numbers were the lesser crimes as most of them are preventable.

“If people lock their cars and don’t keep valuables in them, most of those are preventable,” he said.

On the more serious crimes, the department reported 22 motor vehicle thefts, 56 burglaries, 31 assaults, 8 robberies , one rape and four other sex offenses and one murder.

The Police Department urges residents and business owners to deter crime by locking their vehicles, not leaving valuables in vehicles and parking vehicles in garages or under street lights. They can also install motion lights around their properties and call 911 if they see anything suspicious.