State crime report released: Violent crimes drop in Lake Worth for first half of 2016


LAKE WORTH – Violent crimes — murder, rape, robbery — fell in Lake Worth for the first half of 2016 compared with the same period last year, according a semi-annual crime report released Monday by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Last year for the first six months of 2015, there were four murders, 22 rapes and 107 robberies. Those numbers dropped slightly to three, 21 and 79, repectively, the report showed.

While larceny and motor vehicle thefts decreased, aggravated assaults were on the rise, increasing from 113 to 154. Burglaries remained about the same, 214 this year versus 212 last year.

Overall crime was down 4.6 percent in the city.

Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Todd Baer said PBSO has reassigned deputies to the Community Policing Unit to get them on the streets more often.

Baer also cited the city’s partnership with Assistant State Attorney Christy Rogers as to why crime is down. About a year ago, the city arranged to have Rogers assigned to Lake Worth.

“This is one of the best things that’s happened since I’ve been here,” Baer told city commissioners in the fall.” She works all our cases…she knows now who the bad guys are. We can arrest a guy 10, 12 times a year and it would go to 10 or 12 different state attorneys.”

Baer said Rogers is focusing on repeat offenders and helping the city with prostitution.

With a 1,224 total crime index, Lake Worth ranked sixth in Palm Beach County behind the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office (7,796), West Palm Beach (3,150), Boynton Beach (1.953), Delray Beach (1,591) and Boac Raton (1,325).,

The semi-annual Uniform Crime Report  calculates crime volume and the number of index crimes known to law enforcement.

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