The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) recently released its 2011 Crime in the United States report, which breaks down and tracks crime by city. The 2011 Uniform Crime Report (see chart below) shows that compared to 2010, Royal Oak saw 171 more property crimes in 2011, while violent crimes were down by 9 incidents.
Royal Oak Police Chief Corrigan O'Donohue acknowledges burglary and larceny are up in the city. Still, O'Donohue said when you look at data over the past decade, property crimes—where there is no force or threat of force against the victims—are trending down and incidents are at historic lows.
Of the bump in property crimes in 2011, O'Donohue said his department is working to fix it.
"With new staffing increases, we should be able to stay on top of it," he said. "The vast majority of these crimes take place when no one is home."
O'Donohue added crime in Royal Oak is still lower than surrounding communities. "But I don't want to tell that to the person whose house has been broken into," he said. "We are concerned about all crime."
The most alarming statistic is that Royal Oak had two murders in 2011. Christopher Hearn, 24, pleaded no contest in March to second-degree murder in the stabbing death of 41-year-old Ranae Chupick, whose body was found by co-workers in her Rochester Road apartment Sept. 19. And, and await trial in the robbery, brutal beating and , in her Trafford Road home on Nov. 20.
There was one reported murder in 2010. Gary Harmon Lupiloff, 53, was shot July 13 in his driveway and was pronounced dead at Beaumont Hospital.
Nationwide, certain types of crime are seeing a decline. The estimated number of violent crimes reported to the FBI has decreased for the fifth year in a row, and the number of property crimes is down for the ninth year straight.
2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 Population 57,193 56,408 56,800 57,098 57,695 58,154 Violent Crimes (total) 79 88 99 113 175 108 Murder and Nonnegligent Manslaughter 2 1 0 0 0 0 Forcible Rape 11 19 24 20 20 17 Robbery 8 17 17 34 29 32 Aggravated Assault 58 51 58 59 126 59 Property Crimes (total) 1,058 887 990 1,144 1,244 1,416 Burglary 201 176 162 217 226 282 Larceny-Theft 766 620 651 797 878 942 Motor Vehicle Theft 91 91 96 130 140 192 Arson 1 7 6 19 5 9
Each year when Crime in the United States is published, many entities—news media, tourism agencies, and other groups with an interest in crime in our nation—use reported figures to compile rankings of cities and counties. These rankings, however, are merely a quick choice made by the data user; they provide no insight into the many variables that mold the crime in a particular town, city, county, state, region, or other jurisdiction. Consequently, these rankings lead to simplistic and/or incomplete analyses that often create misleading perceptions adversely affecting cities and counties, along with their residents.