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Crime in Spokane is down overall, but these crimes are spiking in 2020

A new report details which crimes are spiking and which are falling in Spokane.

SPOKANE, Wash — Criminal homicides, garage burglaries, commercial burglaries and arson are all crimes that are on the rise in the city of Spokane, according to the Spokane Police Department's CompStat Report released Monday.

According to the report, from Jan. 1 – Oct. 3, those four types of crime have all risen compared to the same time frame in 2019. 

But overall, crime is down 10.45% in the city compared to last year.

Criminal homicides are up

The report says so far in 2020, there have been 13 criminal homicides. During the same time period in 2019, there were four. This is a 225% increase in cases.

According to Spokane police, 11 of those cases have been solved. 

At the end of August, Spokane Police Sergeant Terry Preuninger said Spokane was statistically on the path to having a record amount of homicides in 2020.

RELATED: Homicides in Spokane could hit record in 2020

The year with the largest number of homicides was in 2002 with 24 homicides, according to Preuninger. The second and third largest numbers of homicides were reported in back-to-back years in 1995 and 1996. In 1995, there were 23 and in 1996, there were 17. The next largest number, according to Preuninger, was in 1998 with 15 homicide investigations.

Preuninger said when there is a large amount of homicides it often ties up detectives because these cases often take a lot of time to investigate. He said this often leads to patrol officers investigating other felony crimes.

Credit: Spokane Police

In 2020, there has been one homicide in northwest Spokane, one in north central, two in Neva-Wood, one in northeast, two in south central, one in southeast, one in southwest and four in downtown. Downtown saw the largest increase in homicides with four in 2020 compared to on e in 2019, which is a 300% increase, according to the report.

While homicides are seeing a big increase in 2020, all other violent crimes are down, according to the report. Rapes in the city are down 20.5% and aggravated assaults are down by about 13.5%, according to the report. Violent crime overall is down 11.3%.

Increase in arson

Spokane has also seen a large increase in arson. The report says there have been 88 arson cases so far in 2020, compared to 37 during the same time period in 2019.  

The report says this is a nearly 138% increase in cases.

Spokane police told KREM in late August serial arsonists were playing a role in the increase.

RELATED: Arsons have more than doubled in Spokane this year. What we know about the spike

According to the report, downtown, southwest, southeast, south central, northeast, Neva-Wood, north central and northwest Spokane all saw large increase in arsons.   

Commercial, garage burglaries grow in 2020

Commercial burglaries are up 13% this year, according to the report. So far in 2020, there have been 370 cases. In 2019, there were 327.

Northwest, Neva-Wood, northeast, south central, southeast, southwest and downtown Spokane all saw increases in commercial burglaries compared to the same time frame in 2019.

Garage burglaries are slightly up, just over 1% compared to 2019, the report shows. In 2020, there have been 451 case and in 2019 there were 445, according to the report.

Areas with the largest increases in garage burglaries include northwest, northeast, southeast and downtown Spokane, according to the report. Garage burglaries in northeast Spokane are up nearly 40%, the report shows. In southeast Spokane, they’re up just over 21%.

Downtown Spokane saw the largest increase in garage burglaries - 300% - the actual numbers are small, with four cases in 2020 compared to one in 2019. 

All other property crime is down, including residential burglary, larceny and vehicle theft, according to the report. Property crime is down more than 10%.

View the full report here.