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New FBI statistics: Baltimore No. 5 in murder rate

FBI data: Baltimore had country's fifth-highest murder rate in 2013

Baltimore had the fifth-highest murder rate in the country last year among cities with 100,000 or more people and saw an increase in property crime, statistics released by the FBI on Monday show. The city also had the nation's seventh-highest violent crime rate.

The Uniform Crime Report for 2013 is based on data submitted by states to the FBI, which does not audit the data and cautions against ranking cities or making other comparisons. 

In 2013, Baltimore saw a rise in both murders, swelling its murder rate to 37.4 per 100,000 people, and non-fatal shootings. The city reported 235 murders at the end of the year, but reported 233 to the FBI.

The Baltimore Police Department did not respond to questions about the disparity or about the statistics overall.

The data show that Baltimore also saw a 5.6 percent increase in reported property crime, and a 3.5 percent increase in robberies. Rapes declined more than 5 percent, and aggravated assaults declined 4 percent, fueling a slight decrease in the overall violent crime total (about 0.7 percent). 

Nationally, violent crime was down 4.4 percent, and property crime went down 4.1 percent. 

This year in Baltimore, both murders and shootings are down compared to the same time last year, according to the latest police statistics. As of Monday morning, 188 people have been slain in the city and non-fatal shootings were down about 12 percent. 

Data from 2012 had Baltimore with the sixth-highest murder rate, but the city moved up largely because the city with the highest rate - Flint, Mich. - saw its population dip under 100,000 and falls off any ranking of cities with 100,000 people or more. 

Cities with higher murder rates were Detroit (45.2), New Orleans (41.4), Newark (40.3), and St. Louis (37.7). Both Detroit (54.6 in 2012) and New Orleans (53.2 in 2012) saw sharp declines. 

Chicago, which has been billed as the country's "murder capital," had 414 murders for a rate of 15.2 - same rate as Tulsa, Okla. 

Baltimore's 233 homicides were almost as much as Philadelphia, which has nearly 1 million more people, and higher than Houston, which has 2.18 million people and saw 214 murders. Los Angeles, with 3.88 million people, saw 251 homicides.

The final statistics for 2013 differ from the unofficial numbers reported by the city at the end of the year.  

In addition to two fewer murders, the data show about 20 additional rapes, about 200 fewer robberies, 100 more aggravated asaults, and about 1,000 more property crimes. 

Sun reporter Justin George contributed to this article. 

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