Crime totals in every major category rose last year in Colorado except murder, says the Rocky Mountain News. Homicides fell nearly 15 percent, but major crimes increased 7.1 percent overall. The biggest surge was in assaults, which climbed 11.5 percent, followed by motor vehicle thefts, which went up 10.2 percent, said the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. State officials said the overall increase may be skewed because more local law enforcement agencies reported their crime statistics last year than in 2004.
Methamphetamine use may be a factor in the increase, said George Epp of County Sheriffs of Colorado. “I hear from every corner of the state that methamphetamine is kicking our tails,” he said. Auto theft is a problem in Colorado and other states near the U.S.-Mexico border, said Lance Clem of the Colorado Department of Public Safety. “Auto theft is one crime in Colorado that remains extraordinarily significant,” he said. The decline in homicides may not be so significant. “Homicide’s a crime of passion,” said one official. “It’s one of those crimes you can’t control, no matter how many officers are on the street.”