Crime

DPS crime report shows large crime increase in Central Texas cities in 2020

TEXAS CITY, Texas — The number of murders, aggravated assaults and auto thefts are up in three of the biggest cities in Central Texas.

2020 was a difficult year for the entire country and the time spent in quarantine for adults, or out of school for kids, were already attributed to an increase in crime.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety Crime in Texas report, Killeen, Temple and Waco have all seen an increase in these crimes from 2019 to 2020.

The annual report compiles information from cities and counties around the state which is then submitted to the FBI for its national uniform crime reporting program.

Here is a breakdown of the numbers.

KILLEEN

The Killeen Police Department reported nearly twice as many murders in 2020 compared to 2019 with 26 murders last year, up from 14 in 2019. Incidences of robbery, assault and auto theft also rose in 2020 while rape, burglary and larceny incidents reported decreased.

The Texas DPS report indicates that overall crime in Killeen decreased by about 1.5%.

  • Murder: Increased from 14 in 2019 to 26 in 2020
  • Assault: Increased from 340 to 759
  • Auto theft: Increased from 318 to 435 
  • Robbery: Increased from 124 to 159
  • Rape: Decreased from 105 to 85
  • Burglary: Decreased from 818 to 649

TEMPLE

Meanwhile, the Temple Police Department recorded twice as many murders in the city from 2019 to 2020, with the number doubling from four to eight. The department also reported increases in incidences of rape, assault, burglary, larceny and auto theft. Only reported robberies decreased in the city.

The increase in violent crime and property crimes over the past year accounts for a nearly 24% increase in overall crime from 2019 to 2020.

  • Murder: Increased from 4 in 2019 to 8 in 2020
  • Assault: Increased from 113 to 196
  • Auto theft: Increased from 198 to 336
  • Rape: Increased from 61 to 64
  • Robbery: Decreased from 39 to 29 
  • Burglary: Increased from 244 to 302

WACO

In Waco, the police department reported 14 murders in the city in 2020 versus 10 in 2019. Only reports of rape went down last year, while murder, robbery, assault, burglary, larceny and auto thefts increased. However, the increase in overall crime was slight with a 6% change from one year to the next.

  • Murder: Increased from 10 in 2019 to 14 in 2020
  • Assault: Increased from 568 to 664
  • Auto theft: Increased from 323 to 412 
  • Rape: Decreased from 88 to 81
  • Robbery: Increased from 133 to 143
  • Burglary: Increased from 784 to 867

Across the state, murders increased 37% in 2020, from 1,403 to 1,927, according to the report. Aggravated assault went up by nearly 16.5% around the state.

In the property crime category, incidences of vehicle theft increased by nearly 9%.

On the other hand, rape and robbery went down along with burglary and larceny. Rape went down by about 9% and robbery by just over 7%. Burglary decreased by 4% and larceny by 7%.

The report also indicated that assaults on police officers increased by nearly 9% in 2020 from 2019 with seven officers killed in the line of duty, five of which happened in duty-related vehicle crashes.

Written by Andrew Moore, Christian Aleman

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