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Police chief: Violent crimes up by 4% from last year

The Maui News

Violent crimes have increased by 4 percent so far this year, led by a 12 percent rise in reports of domestic violence, Police Chief John Pelletier said at a Maui Police Commission meeting Wednesday.

He presented statistics showing 731 violent crimes reported to date, compared with 703 for the same period last year. The number of simple assault or abuse cases reported was 506, compared with 450 last year.

Aggravated assault cases increased by 8 percent to 184 so far this year, compared with 171 at the same time last year.

“Domestic violence is our biggest crime,” Pelletier said, appearing by videoconference for the meeting.

He said one positive in the numbers was a 62 percent decrease in reported sexual assaults, which dropped to 26 this year from 68 last year.

Property crimes increased by 17 percent, with 1,512 reports this year, compared with 1,287 at the same time last year. The biggest increases were in vehicle thefts, with 303 reported this year for a 32 percent increase over the 230 last year, and thefts from vehicles, with 72 this year compared with 57 last year for a 26 percent increase. Burglaries increased by 15 percent to 175 compared with 152 during the same period last year.

Pelletier said catalytic converter thefts are an issue and police may have identified those helping move the items off island.

Total arrests increased by 11 percent, with 1,599 so far this year, compared with 1,445 at the same time last year, the statistics showed.

“That is 154 more arrests than last year, and that’s while being down 25 percent in staff,” he said.

A police staffing report showed 101 vacancies among 400 authorized positions for police officers.

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