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Baltimore crime up across the board as third quarter closes for 2017

Much has been made of the staggering pace of killings in Baltimore. But less known are the increases in rapes, robberies, assaults, burglaries and arsons this year.

At the close of the third quarter of 2017, new city crime data shows, Baltimore crime has risen almost across the board.

Violent crime has risen 15 percent compared to the same point last year. Police reported about 9,100 violent crimes through Sept. 23, or 1,160 more than during that period last year.

Common assaults increased 22 percent to about 6,400. Aggravated assaults — attacks causing severe harm — increased 15 percent to about 4,260.

Robberies increased 14 percent to about 4,350. Rapes increased 13 percent to about 230. Burglaries increased 10 percent to about 5,680. And arsons increased 9 percent to about 200.

Nonfatal shootings inched up 2 percent to about 500.

Baltimore officials continue to grapple with the violence that surged after Freddie Gray died two years ago in police custody.

The new city statistics coincide with an annual FBI report on violence in America. The FBI found violent crime rose nationwide in 2016 for the second straight year, but remained lower than in past decades.

The number of violent crimes increased about 4 percent nationwide to 1.2 million in 2016, according to the FBI.

The FBI data reaffirms concerns about an increase in violence across America, Justice Department officials said.

“For the sake of all Americans, we must confront and turn back the rising tide of violent crime,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement. “And we must do it together.”

He called for federal and local police to work together to “deter violent crime, dismantle criminal organizations and gangs, stop the scourge of drug trafficking, and send a strong message to criminals that we will not surrender our communities to lawlessness and violence.”

Rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults all increased nationwide in 2016, according to the FBI. The bureau reported 17,250 homicides in the United States last year, an increase of nearly 9 percent from 2015.

In Baltimore, a few categories of robberies, such as bank robberies and thefts from cars, have decreased this year.

The homicide rate continues to climb, with nearly 260 killings as of Sept. 23, a 13 percent increase over last year.

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