Minnesota crime report 2018: Violent crimes down, vehicle thefts up

Statewide crime numbers released Monday show a widespread drop in most crimes last year.

Violent crimes across the state decreased by 6.7 percent in 2018 according to the Uniform Crime Report. Violent crimes include murder, rape, robbery, human trafficking and aggravated assault.

Property crimes fell by nearly 9 percent, although motor vehicle theft increased for the third year in a row.

There were significant decreases in burglary and larceny cases. Arson cases were down to their lowest number since the state began tracking those crimes.

There was also a slight decrease in reported bias incidents in 2018, following an increase in bias crimes the year before.

The Uniform Crime Report is data law enforcement reports to the FBI each year. Here are a few other statistics from the report:

• Over half of the reported murders last year involved a firearm or handgun.

• There were 2,656 rapes reported — the highest number in 24 years.

• The most bias-motivated crimes were perpetrated against African-American and black people.

• Of the 1,706 motor vehicle thefts that were cleared by arrest, 235 of those arrested were classified as juveniles.

• Police officers discharged firearms 32 times, firing 100 shots. A total of 13 people died as a result, compared with 10 deaths the previous year.