EAST CHICAGO | Police saw an increase in property crimes and a decrease in violent crime during the first three months of the year.
East Chicago police on Wednesday released their uniform crime report for January to March. While the department saw a reduction in violent crime, there were three homicides compared with none last year.
Violent crime includes murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault. The city had 41 reports of violent crime during the first three months of the year compared with 78 in 2012, according to a news release.
Police Chief Mark Becker said no arrests have been made in the three homicides.
Earnestine Tarver, 50, of East Chicago, was fatally shot in January, police said. Willie Cook, 25, was shot to death in February. Odie Gray, 48, was stabbed to death in March.
There were 408 property crimes reported during the first three months of the year compared with 328 crimes reported during the same period last year.
Becker said the property crimes began with a rash of vehicle break-ins in the Harbor neighborhood and spread throughout the city. He said the same group of people could be behind the crimes, but no arrests have been made.
The department is working with Indiana University Northwest to further analyze crime trends. Becker said the department plans to direct patrols to the neighborhoods that experience the most crime as a way to reduce criminal activity.
"The next report should be more favorable in terms of property crimes," he said.