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Murders, shootings in Chicago were down again in August but carjackings and CTA crime remain high

Chicago’s top cop says crime numbers are down overall this year

Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown on Tuesday announced a 44% decrease in homicides and a 26% decrease in shootings across the city year-over-year.

Murders and shootings continued their general decline in Chicago in August, though carjackings and crimes on the CTA remain stubbornly higher than last year.

At least 66 people were murdered in the city last month, down from 80 a year ago. And at least 384 people were shot compared to 475 last August, according to data released by the Chicago Police Department Thursday.

Overall, murders are down about 16% this year and the number of people shot is down about 19.5%, levels similar to what they were in July, the latest data shows. Bucking the trend were the two police districts that cover downtown Chicago.

There have been at least 72 shootings in those districts this year, up from 56 this time a year ago, a rise of about 77%, according to the latest police data. There have been 18 homicides, double from last year.

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Two other districts, Deering on the Southwest Side and Albany Park on the Northwest Side, have also seen more shootings and homicides this year. In all, eight of the city’s 22 police districts saw an increase in homicides and seven saw a rise in shootings, the data shows.

Despite the general drop in shootings and homicides, every police district has seen an increase in overall crime. That includes sexual assault, robbery, aggravated battery, burglary, theft and motor vehicle theft, according to the data.

The smallest increase in overall crime was 6% in the 5th police district, where the neighborhoods of Roseland, Pullman and Riverdale have long been victimized by high crime rates. The biggest increase was 94% in the 1st district, which mostly covers the Loop.

The Loop has been the scene of several attacks on CTA trains and stations this summer. The police data shows CTA crime is up 40% from this time last year, a trend that has prompted the transit agency to hire more unarmed guards and deploy canine units throughout the system. The police department has also deployed more officers.

Carjackings are also up this year, though not as steeply. There have been at least 1,146 carjackings this year compared to 1,072 during the same period last year, a rise of 6%. More than half of those arrested for carjackings this year have been juveniles.

A day before the latest data was released, police announced the arrest of a 17-year-old for 11 carjackings, nine of them committed in one day.

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