By ABBY SOUZA
Crime rates rose about 22 percent last year in Tuolumne County, Sheriff Dick Rogers told the county Board of Supervisors yesterday.
"We've had a substantial increase," Rogers said. The increase follows a statewide trend, he said, and can also be attributed to the state of the state. A poor economy, for example, brings on more crime, he said.
The largest jumps are in burglaries and thefts, which both went up 32 percent over 2001. That year, the sheriff's department reported 415 burglaries and 292 thefts. In 2002, there were 530 burglaries and 386 thefts.
Assaults were also up more than 25 percent, from 368 in 2001 to 461 last year.
"I do this every year, whether it's good or bad," Rogers said of his presentation to the board.
The Uniform Crime Report Act requires the sheriff's department to report criminal statistics to both the state and federal government. Homicide, rape, robbery, assault, burglary and theft are all reported by the department under the act.
The department is also required to report domestic violence crimes to the state. In 2002, 173 were reported the lowest number since 1999.
There were two murders reported in last year's stats; none were reported in 2001. Thirteen rapes were reported in 2002, as well as 13 robberies.
But there was some good news in Rogers' report.
The Tuolumne County Sheriff's Department has a 25.3 percent clearance rate, meaning a fourth of all crimes reported to the county are solved.
"That is a very, very good rate," Rogers said.