It's not uncommon to hear about crime, but it's what you don't hear about that can be surprising. We all worry about violent crimes such as murders, manslaughters, rapes, and robberies, but statistics show most of those are on the decline.
"Last year it dropped by 2.2% from 2009. We're doing a good job with violent crimes," says Fayette Commonwealth's Attorney Ray Larson.
It's the non-violent ones that are leaving their mark in Lexington.
"Burglary, larcenies, arson, those kinds of things. It's a vast majority of crimes that are committed in our community and it's rising," says Ray Larson.
The number one crime you could fall victim to is larceny. One out of every 38 people will be a victim.
"Somebody stealing from you, whether it's stealing your car, stealing something out of your car, or if you're in business someone shoplifting. A theft," says Ray Larson.
Coming in second were burglaries. One out of 111 people will be a victim and it's happening all around the city.
"Almost no neighborhood in Fayette County is immune from these thugs that are called burglars," says Ray Larson.
"It's city wide. It's everywhere. Not one particular residence or neighborhood is more of a victim than anyone else," says Detective Phillip Harrison with Lexington Police.
Coming in third were assaults. One out of every 289 people will be a victim. In fourth place were auto thefts, where your car is actually stolen. One out of every 463 people in Lexington will have this happen. Rounding out the top five are robberies. One out of every 500 people will be robbed in Lexington.
The numbers clearly show non-violent property crimes to be increasing. From 2009 to 2010 the property crimes saw an 8.9 percent increase, while violent crimes saw a 2.2. percent decrease, which shows it may not be the violent crime to worry about in the community, as the property crimes continue to leave a mark.
That's the kind of crime you're gonna most likely be the victim of," says Ray Larson.
This has some people fighting back. Lori Bromagen is enrolled in a self-defense class at Sid Nelson's Taekwondo and says more and more women have been enrolling as awareness goes up in the community.
"Even walking out to your car, you're just more aware of your surroundings," says Lori Bromagen.
There are other ways you can prevent yourself from being a crime victim, especially for the crimes on the rise. Authorities remind you to never leave your keys in your car while it is unattended. They remind you to lock your doors and place items out of sight, and to also write things down.
"Many people out there do not record the serial number for many of this items, which is ipods or mp3 players, laptop computers, radar detectors, or gps's," says Detective Jeremiah Davis with Lexington Police.
It's much easier these days for people to steal your identity and money as well.
"That's why it's important to run your credit history. run your credit report. You get three free a year and it's good to do that checkup to make sure nobody's opened something up on you," says Sgt. Jody Stowers with Lexington Police.
That brings us to a crime that was up ten percent last year. Police have plenty of ideas for you on ways to prevent your home from being burglarized.
They remind you to have neighbors pick up your mail rather than leaving it bundled in your mailbox if you are out of town, always keep your garage door down to prevent thefts, dead-bolting your doors, making sure to cover your windows so people can't see what you have in your home, and having a good alarm system. They say many burglars also don't like dealing with dogs. They say by doing these simple things, it could help prevent you from being a victim.
"The cases are overwhelming. The number of cases that we have, a lot of it can be prevented," says Detective Phillip Harrison with Lexington Police.
If you ever have a tip for police on an ongoing crime, you can always call Crime Stoppers at 859-253-2020. it's a free call and you could receive a cash reward if your information leads to an arrest for a crime.