FBI statistics show auto theft, firearm offenses up in Bay City for first half of 2020

Published: Nov. 17, 2020 at 5:47 PM EST
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BAY CITY, Mich. (WJRT) -(11/17/20)- Bay City reported no homicides for the first 6 months of 2020, that’s according to the latest crime statistics released by the FBI.

Good news- but not surprising for a city that had only one homicide in 2019.

But there are some crimes that stood out to Bay City Public Safety Director Michael Cecchini.

Crimes involving firearms is one.

An increase of 42.5 percent the first half of 2019.

“We’ve had a marked increase right after the initial COVID-19 stay at home order,” said Bay City Public Safety Director, Michael Cecchini.

“I think it’s directly related to people being for whatever reason in the house because of COVID-19 and getting out and for whatever reason behaving in this manner and committing these crimes with firearms,” he said.

Data from the FBI also showed criminal sexual assault cases were up by double digits at 61 percent.

Arson is down 75 percent.

Robbery is the same as it was in 2019.

Felonious assault up 10.5 percent.

The biggest increase? Auto theft. Up 190 percent compared to 2019.

The reason may surprise you.

“Most of those are basically people loaning a car to a relative or a friend and then they don’t return the vehicle. So the only way to get it back is to report it stolen. So we are going to dig down deeper to find out how many times that actually occurred,” Cecchini said.

Cecchini says while some of the numbers seem high, the pandemic and stay at home orders-- may be factors this year.

But community support been key in keeping crime numbers low overall--each year.

“Bay City is a good community and the citizens work well with us,” he said.

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