Reported crime down about 12 percent in Lee

Reported crimes dropped by about 12 percent in unincorporated Lee County for the first half of 2012.

Compared to the first six months of last year, there were 430 fewer nonviolent crimes like thefts and burglaries, a decrease of about 13 percent, according to numbers released Thursday by the Sheriff's Office. The biggest drops were in thefts and residential burglaries, while thefts from automobiles were on the rise.

Violent crimes — homicides, sex offenses, robberies and aggravated assaults — showed a substantially smaller drop, decreasing by only four reports from 2011 to 2012. Homicides more than doubled, rising to 11 from 5, although robberies decreased by 19.

In all, there were 7,530 crimes reported to the Sheriff's Office for the first half of the year, compared with 8,251 during that period in 2011. The Sheriff's Office is responsible for the unincorporated parts of Lee County, as well as Bonita Springs and Fort Myers Beach.

"We've been asked to do more with less funding for as many years as the crime has decreased," Sheriff Mike Scott said in a prepared statement. "I recognize even one crime is too many. To that end, all of us with the Sheriff's Office remain focused and committed to keeping crime down and enhancing the safety and security of our citizens, visitors and friends."

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