District 10 Crime: The Glass is Half Empty and Half Full
Thursday, October 10, 2019 11:15 AM

crime_chart_total_2015-2019.jpg
Reported crimes in District 10, January-September of each year. Source: Saint Paul Police Crime Incident Report Database

Crimes against people are at a 5-year low in District 10, but crime overall is at a 5-year high, according to preliminary police statistics for the first nine months of 2019.

Crime reported in Como was up 6.2 percent from January-September, compared with the same period in 2018. The total reported crimes – 671 – is the highest in the five years that police have made partial-year statistics available. The totals were driven by large increases in theft and vandalism.

But while property crimes were up, “crimes against persons” fell to 38. That is a 5-year low and a 24 percent decrease from 2018. But even that category shows mixed results. There were 8 robberies in the first nine months (a 5-year low) but 13 non-domestic assaults (a 5-year high).

Shots fired also were at a 5-year low in the first 9 months; the 16 incidents are half the number reported just two years ago. But theft is up 9 percent compared with 2018, and 33 percent since 2017. Vandalism is up 31 percent from year to year. Burglary remains steady -- as does the fact that more than 40 percent of burglaries are classified as "no forced entry," which means the burglar took advantage of an unlocked door or window. (See charts detailing types of crimes and their 5-year trends in the PDF in the right column.)

Citywide statistics show that Como remains one of the safest neighborhoods in the city. In raw numbers, in comparing Saint Paul's 17 planning districts, Como had the fifth-lowest number of crimes reported from January-September 2019. After factoring in population, Como actually has the third-lowest crime rate, with 40.2 crimes per 1,000 residents. That trails only Highland and Macalester-Groveland. (See the citywide charts in the PDF in the right column.)

Different areas see different results
Digging deeper into the statistics shows individual parts of the neighborhood are experiencing different results. For tracking purposes, Saint Paul police divide the city into “grids,” which are areas roughly a half-mile square each. In most of District 10, crime levels remain relatively consistent within individual grids. But the two grids bordered by Larpenteur, Dale, Maryland and Victoria saw noticeable decreases early in 2019.

On the other hand, four grids are experiencing crime levels that are far above recent historical averages. Nearly all the crimes in these grids are property crimes; the seven “crimes against persons” were three robberies, an aggravated assault, and three domestic assaults. The grids with large increases in reported crimes:

  • Grids 26 and 27, the area bordered by Arlington, Como Ave., Victoria and Hamline.
  • Grids 45 and 46, the area bordered by Como Ave., Lexington, Energy Park Drive and Snelling.

Grids 26 and 27 cover much of Como Regional Park, including parking lots for the Zoo, Conservatory, Lakeside Pavilion, and lake paths. As you might expect, 75 percent of the reported crimes were stolen cars or vehicle break-ins.

Grid 45 – between Como Ave., Hamline, Energy Park Drive and Snelling – had the highest number of crimes reported in District 10 so far in 2019: a total of 112. Reported crimes include 14 stolen vehicles, 48 car break-ins, 14 other forms of theft, 13 burglaries (more than half of them businesses), and 17 reports of vandalism.

Grid 46 – between Como Ave., Lexington, Energy Park Drive and Hamline – includes the Como Pool, McMurray Fields, and Bandana Square. Reported crimes include 2 stolen vehicles, 19 car break-ins, 12 other thefts, 7 burglaries (almost all them unlocked garages at The Burlington), 10 reports of vandalism, and 7 narcotics arrests.

(See charts detailing reported crime in each grid and their 5-year trends in the PDF in the right column.)

If you want to do your own statistical breakdowns, go to the city's Crime Incident Report Database.

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