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Rape, business robberies up sharply in Hennepin County in 2016

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Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek
Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek at a press conference on November, 2014.
Brandt Williams | MPR News 2014

Violent crime in Hennepin County is up 6 percent so far in 2016 compared to 2015, an "alarming trend," Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek said Monday as he appealed for the public's help.

Mid-year statistics show countywide increases in rape (11 percent), business robbery (22 percent) and aggravated assault (11 percent) in 2016 compared to the same period last year.

The sheriff's office sees the violent crime increases as a "major issue," Stanek said in a statement unveiling the data. "As always, we need the help of community leaders and residents. We all share the responsibility to prevent crime and partner in keeping our families and neighborhoods safe."

Violent crime is defined as homicide, rape, business robbery, person-to-person robbery and aggravated assault.

Stanek noted that while other categories saw jumps, there's been a 24 percent decrease in homicides. From January to June this year, there were 19 homicides, compared to 25 homicides during the same period last year, his office said. 

And despite the jump in business robberies, the sheriff's office mid-year crime report showed overall property crimes down 3 percent.