When a man wearing a white bandana and sunglasses robbed a Salt Lake City pharmacy in September, he made off with prescription drugs and contributed to a big rise in crime, says the Salt Lake Tribune. Violent crime in Salt Lake City reached a seven-year high in 2006, jumping by nearly 15 percent, says this week’s preliminary FBI report.
Reported forcible rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults in Utah’s capital city all increased. There were eight murders in 2006, declining slightly from nine in 2005. Police were unable to offer explicit reasons for most of the violent crime increase. Police spokesman Jeff Bedard said the department believes pharmacy bandits are influencing the boost in robberies. There must be more is at work: Police have recorded just six such robberies since September 1. In all, the city had 505 robberies last year. Violent crime had declined in Salt Lake City in 2005. Mayor Rocky Anderson touted the decrease in February as he tried to calm the public’s concerns after high-profile killings at Trolley Square.