The number of rapes reported in St. Louis is expected to double by year’s end because of last year’s change in the FBI definition of the crime to include a wider array of sexual assaults, including same-sex attacks, Police Chief Sam Dotson said yesterday. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch says rapes accounted for the city’s largest percentage increase in crime in January, up 62.5 percent.
Overall, the crime rate is up about 23 percent citywide from last year, counting all categories. Dotson said it was being measured against “historic lows” at the same point last year. When compared with statistics from the past decade, he said, the 2013 numbers come in second. Larceny had the second largest jump, at 46.3 percent. Dotson blamed a rash of license plate thefts, drive-offs from gas stations, and shoplifting. A 36 percent increase in homicides — in real numbers four more than last year — has grabbed a lot of attention. Dotson said he expected several key arrests and initiatives to drive the numbers back down.