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Property Crimes Up in Greater Capital Region as Economy Struggles

By Thomas J. Carr

The greater Capital Region became a less violent place in 2010, but overall criminal activity rose due to a startling increases in property-related crimes, according to an analysis of statistics from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DOJS).

According to a DOJS report detailing statewide crime counts and rates per 100,000 population, violent crimes in 11 counties of the greater Capital Region declined 1.1 percent to 3,212 compared to 3,248 in 2009. This annual decline was lower than the 4.1 percent decline experienced statewide, excluding New York City. (See below chart).

Given the state of the economy, it is not surprising that the rate of reported property crimes increased 4.9 percent to 29,355 in the 11 region counties. What is surprising is that the region’s rate was almost 10 times greater than the 0.5 percent rate for New York State outside of New York City, according to the DOJS report. Most alarming was property crimes in Montgomery, Saratoga and Albany counties, where rates rose by 83.4 percent, 12.2 percent and 5.7 percent, respectively.

It is crucial that people charged for criminal offenses contact a criminal defense attorney who can defend their rights. For example, Section 155.15 of the New York State Penal Law identifies two affirmative defenses for larceny. One defense concerns larceny committed by embezzlement or taking via trespassing when the allegedly stolen property was “appropriated under a claim of right made in good faith.” The other concerns larceny by extortion committed by threatening a victim that he or she could face criminal charges. In such cases it is an affirmative defense when a defendant believed the threatened charge was true and he or she only wanted to coerce the victim into remedying whatever the threatened charge concerned.

In the case of first degree burglary, which involves the armed breaking into a dwelling, Section 140.30 of the Penal Law states it is an affirmative defense when a firearm used in the offense was not loaded. In addition to raising such defenses, when applicable, a criminal defense attorney could also ensure an accused person’s due process rights are not violated, challenge the evidence against him or her, or present mitigating factors that could result in reduced sentences.

First and foremost, people arrested for property crimes should not make any statements to law enforcement officials without first consulting with an attorney.

Thomas J. Carr, Esq. is a partner at Tully Rinckey PLLC and concentrates his practice in the area of Criminal Defense, including DWI. He can be reached at tcarr@1888law4life.com. The schedule a meeting with one of Tully Rinckey PLLC’s criminal defense attorneys call 1-888-LAW-4LIFE.

Greater Capital Region Index Crime Counts and Rates
Per 100,000 population
County Year Total Violent Murder Forcible Rape Robbery Agg. Assault Property Burglary Larceny MV Theft
Albany 2009 10,613 1,290 12 61 400 817 9,323 1,521 7,451 351
2010 11,044 1,187 3 62 369 753 9,857 1,594 7,907 356
% Change 4.1 -8.0 -75.0 1.6 -7.8 -7.8 5.7 4.8 6.1 1.4
Columbia 2009 1,174 111 0 8 6 97 1,063 295 754 14
2010 1,134 88 1 10 6 71 1,046 235 788 23
% Change -3.4 -20.7 NA 25.0 0.0 -26.8 -1.6 -20.3 4.5 64.3
Fulton 2009 1,522 112 1 20 11 80 1,410 287 1,080 43
2010 1,689 123 1 17 17 88 1,566 359 1,153 54
% Change 11.0 9.8 0.0 -15.0 54.5 10.0 11.1 25.1 6.8 25.6
Greene 2009 853 102 1 7 6 88 751 208 520 23
2010 820 92 0 8 9 75 728 224 471 33
% Change -3.9 -9.8 -100.0 14.3 50.0 -14.8 -3.1 7.7 -9.4 43.5
Montgomery 2009 726 131 0 0 6 125 595 107 473 15
2010 1,163 72 1 2 12 57 1,091 200 861 30
% Change 60.2 -45.0 NA NA 100.0 -54.4 83.4 86.9 82.0 100.0
Rensselaer 2009 4,808 513 3 29 188 293 4,295 988 3,127 180
2010 4,831 546 2 38 162 344 4,285 959 3,096 230
% Change 0.5 6.4 -33.3 31.0 -13.8 17.4 -0.2 -2.9 -1.0 27.8
Saratoga 2009 2,923 173 1 24 37 111 2,750 473 2,214 63
2010 3,236 151 0 22 26 103 3,085 549 2,457 79
% Change 10.7 -12.7 -100.0 -8.3 -29.7 -7.2 12.2 16.1 11.0 25.4
Schenectady 2009 5,829 652 7 41 258 346 5,177 1,019 3,900 258
2010 6,018 747 8 55 280 404 5,271 1,140 3,911 220
% Change 3.2 14.6 14.3 34.1 8.5 16.8 1.8 11.9 0.3 -14.7
Schoharie 2009 572 27 1 4 4 18 545 145 391 9
2010 467 17 0 2 3 12 450 98 343 9
% Change -18.4 -37.0 -100.0 -50.0 -25.0 -33.3 -17.4 -32.4 -12.3 0.0
Warren 2009 1,444 77 0 6 7 64 1,367 173 1,169 25
2010 1,286 96 0 17 9 70 1,190 191 984 15
% Change -10.9 24.7 NA 183.3 28.6 9.4 -12.9 10.4 -15.8 -40.0
Washington 2009 769 60 0 9 4 47 709 164 515 30
2010 879 93 0 17 5 71 786 223 534 29
% Change 14.3 55.0 NA 88.9 25.0 51.1 10.9 36.0 3.7 -3.3
11-County Greater Capital Region 2009 31,233 3,248 26 209 927 2,086 27,985 5,380 21,594 1,011
2010 32,567 3,212 16 250 898 2,048 29,355 5,772 22,505 1,078
% Change 4.3 -1.1 -38.5 19.6 -3.1 -1.8 4.9 7.3 4.2 6.6
Data from “Crime in New York State 2010 Final Data,” New York State Division of Criminal Justice, report, Sept. 19, 2011

 

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