While crime rose 39.6 percent in Howard County and 23.4 percent in Frederick County, crime in Carroll County rose 1 percent in the first quarter this year, compared with the same period in 1994, according to state police statistics.
Major crimes -- murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft -- are tallied by the state and released quarterly.
One homicide occurred in Carroll in both periods. The number of rapes increased by 50 percent, from six in the first quarter of 1994 to nine in the first quarter of this year, the report said.
Robberies decreased from 20 the first quarter of 1994 to 12 the first quarter of this year.
Aggravated assaults also decreased, from 49 the first quarter of 1994, compared with 36 in the first quarter of 1995.
Burglaries were down slightly, from 147 to 143, but larcenies increased from 547 in 1994 to 571 in 1995, the report said.
Forty-four vehicles were stolen in the first quarter of 1995, compared with 38 in the first quarter of 1994, police said.
Arsons increased from 10 in the first quarter of 1994 to 13 for the period this year, the report said. Arson numbers are listed in the report, but are not calculated in the index crime percentages.
Total crimes in Carroll increased from 808 in the first quarter of 1994 to 816 in the first quarter of 1995, authorities said.
Lt. Bruce Tanner, the Westminster state police barracks
commander, attributed last year's higher aggravated-assault figures to the extremely severe winter that kept many people indoors.
"It probably caused a higher percentage of domestic assaults," he said. "This winter was rather mild and people were able to enjoy the outside more, and we saw a lesser number of aggravated assaults."
Howard County showed the second-highest increase in crime in the state for the first quarter of 1995. Caroline County was first with a 53.3 percent increase.
Robberies and larcenies accounted for Howard's largest increases. There were 44 robberies in the first quarter of this year, compared with 26 in the same period of 1994 and 1,576 larcenies this year, an increase of 645 over the 931 reported last year.
The total number of crimes in Howard increased by 635 during the first quarter.
Sgt. Steven Keller, a Howard County police spokesman, said the county had seen a series of armed robberies early this year that increased the robbery statistics by 80 percent. He said many of those robberies were closed with arrests.
Many of the burglaries occurred at construction sites in the rapidly growing county, he said.
During 1993 and 1994, he said, Howard had shown a steady lTC decrease in reported crime.
Frederick County showed a large increase in the same categories, as well as burglaries and aggravated assaults, state police said. Robberies went from 21 in the first quarter of 1994 to 41 for the first quarter of this year, and larcenies increased from 574 to 722.
Burglaries in Frederick County increased from 196 to 226, and aggravated assaults increased from 89 to 119, the report said.
Frederick County police officials could not be reached for comment on the increase there.
Statewide, crime increased by 7 percent. Violent crime increased by 5 percent, led by an 18 percent increase in forcible rapes. Murder and aggravated assault numbers also increased, but the number of robberies remained constant, police reported.