Violent crime reports in the U.S. fell 5.5 percent and property crime reports dropped 4.9 percent last year, the FBI said today in its preliminary report for 2009. All four violent crime categories were down: murder 7.2 percent, robbery 8.1 percent, aggravated assault 4.2 percent, and forcible rape 3.1 percent.
Cities with populations ranging from 25,000 to 49,999 were the only city population group to report an increase in the number of murders, 5.3 percent. The number of murders in the nation's nonmetropolitan counties also rose, 1.8 percent. All property crime offenses–burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft–decreased in 2009. Motor vehicle theft showed the largest drop in volume at 17.2 percent, larceny-thefts declined 4.2 percent, and burglaries decreased 1.7 percent.