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Posted on Wed, Jun 5, 2013 : 5:59 a.m.

FBI stats 2012: Violent crime down but property crime rose in Ann Arbor

By Kyle Feldscher

Preliminary crime statistics from last year released Tuesday by the Federal Bureau of Investigation show violent crime dropped in Ann Arbor but property crime rose by more than 170 reported crimes.

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The FBI statistics show there were 228 violent crimes reported in Ann Arbor in 2012. There were 36 reported forcible rapes, 50 robberies, 141 aggravated assaults and one murder, according to the FBI.


FBI stats show property crime rose by more than 170 reported crimes in 2012.

Steve Pepple | file photo

Property crime rose in Ann Arbor during 2012, according to the statistics. Burglaries went from 535 reports in 2011 to 714 in 2012, motor vehicle theft went from 95 in 2011 to 114 in 2012, and arsons more than doubled from 11 to 23.

Ann Arbor Mayor John Hieftje said Tuesday it would have been a surprise for the city to see as little crime as it did in 2011. In that year, the city experienced its lowest amount of reported crime and a big dropoff from 2010.

Hieftje said much of the increase in property crime can be attributed to home invasions during the first part of 2012. He said a number of arrests made by Ann Arbor police detectives have already stemmed that tide.

“The key thing is there is very fine police work being done,” Hieftje said. “Detectives have really dug in. When they saw breaking and enterings going up in 2012, they were able to marshal resources and really dug in.”

All together, there were 135 more Schedule I offenses reported in Ann Arbor in 2012 than in 2011.

However, Hieftje expects 2013 to be another year where crime decreases. He said he meets once a week with Ann Arbor Police Chief John Seto for a briefing on crime statistics in the city.

“I’m not sure if we’ll be back to 2011 levels,” he said, adding that breaking and entering reports are down 25 to 30 percent in 2013 from the same period in 2012.

Seto backed up those numbers and said the preliminary numbers show Ann Arbor is near 2011 levels in crime.

“We have made reductions compared to 2012 in just about all the areas we track,” he said.

Looking at the last five to 10 years, the trend of crime decreasing in the city is ongoing, he said.

In 2011, there were 266 violent crimes reported in Ann Arbor. According to the statistics, there were 40 forcible rapes, 60 robberies and 166 aggravated assaults in 2011. There were no murders in Ann Arbor in 2011.

Larceny/theft reports actually decreased from 1,923 to 1,898, according to the FBI.

There were two violent crimes for every 1,000 people in Ann Arbor in 2012 and 24 property crimes for every 1,000 people in the city, according to the FBI.

Seto said individuals or small groups did many of the home invasions that caused property crime to rise. Often times, arrests made in one case, or a few cases, could also solve many others.

“The detectives and patrol officers worked with other police agencies and made numerous significant arrests, which have impacted our numbers so far this year,” Seto said.

Among the five largest cities in the state, Ann Arbor had the lowest amount of crime.

There were more than 15,000 reports of violent crime in Detroit, more than 2,700 such reports in Flint, 1,075 such reports in Lansing, 232 such reports in Sterling Heights and 715 reports in Warren. Violent crime reports decreased in Detroit and Lansing, but rose in Sterling Heights and Flint.

Ann Arbor was the only city among the five largest cities in the state to see property crime increase. Reports in Detroit went down by 2,807, there were 973 fewer property crimes in Flint, 566 fewer reports in Lansing, 92 fewer reports in Sterling Heights and 56 fewer reports in Warren.

The statistics released Tuesday only dealt with cities in each state that had a population of 100,000 or more.

The lone murder in Ann Arbor in 2012 was the fatal stabbing of 86-year-old Ronald Mason. His daughter Susan Wade pleaded guilty but mentally ill to second-degree murder and will serve at least 20 years in prison.

Seto pointed to the collaboration between local police departments as a major reason why property crimes are already down in 2013. Arrests in cases that involved investigators from Pittsfield Township and the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office played a major role in decreasing home invasions.

“It’s absolutely crucial. The collaboration between all of the local agencies, and within Washtenaw County, is tremendous,” he said.

Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.


Fred Pettit

Mon, Jun 10, 2013 : 4:42 p.m.

Funny that our mayor in an email to me dated March 21, 2013 stated "Crime is low and mostly going lower." I guess we do need the FBI to report real crime statistics for us.


Sat, Jun 8, 2013 : 5:33 p.m.

Two of the Worst cities..and some of the Best Cities..GoBlue


Thu, Jun 6, 2013 : 3:02 a.m.

"Hieftje said much of the increase in property crime can be attributed to home invasions during the first part of 2012." And of course Hiefje is wrong because what he calls "home invasions" is called *burglaries* by the authority source, the FBI. (And so is whoever at Ann Arbor dot com who keeps mimicking Hieftje's mistake in their stories.) Leads one to suspect that Hieftje (for one) likes to pump up the rhetoric to make himself appear more "in the know" that he actually is. All urban police departments are "efficient" when you consider that, for every uniformed officer, there are hundreds of citizens. Example: Ann Arbor has a population (recently announced) of 116,000. According to the last information I saw: there are only 153 uniformed AAPD personnel. That's a cop-to-citizen ratio of 1:758. The other city I'm familiar with is Grand Rapids, with 316 uniformed cops and a population of 188,000: a ratio of 1:595. Ann Arbor would need 195 uniformed officers to be in line with the Grand Rapids cop-to-citizen ratio: yet violent crime is dropping here and A2 never has had more than 176 cops. Other factors are causing the drop, so calls for "more cops" are misguided (and a product of mis-perception and misguided politics).


Thu, Jun 6, 2013 : 12:09 a.m.

We need the FBI to track our crime for us???????????


Thu, Jun 6, 2013 : 3:34 a.m.

I can't give the year when it happened but the FBI has been the primary authorized source for these statistics for a long time. [But even so, the FBI does not report on or even acknowledge the crimes committed by... the FBI.]

Tom Teague

Wed, Jun 5, 2013 : 8:04 p.m.

Kyle - looking back at the article about 2011: When you said there was an increase of 135 in Schedule I offenses, does that correlate to the Part I crimes for AAPD on the table in that article? So, if im correct, that is 2893 Part I crimes total in 2012?

Tom Teague

Wed, Jun 5, 2013 : 9:09 p.m.

Thank you, Kyle.

Kyle Feldscher

Wed, Jun 5, 2013 : 8:53 p.m.

Tom - Looking at my numbers, there were 2,954 Schedule I offenses in 2012 and 2,819 in 2011. Seto said that there is some difference between the AAPD numbers and the FBI numbers, which comes from further analysis and the process used by the two agencies.

Maria Huffman

Wed, Jun 5, 2013 : 5:48 p.m.

It would be nice to have crime data expanded to include and evaluate the whole county's crime situation.


Wed, Jun 5, 2013 : 4:22 p.m.

I thought Grand Rapids was one of the five (5) largest cities? This part of the article seems incorrect. Among the five largest cities in the state, Ann Arbor had the lowest amount of crime. There were more than 15,000 reports of violent crime in Detroit, more than 2,700 such reports in Flint, 1,075 such reports in Lansing, 232 such reports in Sterling Heights and 715 reports in Warren. Violent crime reports decreased in Detroit and Lansing, but rose in Sterling Heights and Flint. Ann Arbor was the only city among the five largest cities in the state to see property crime increase. Reports in Detroit went down by 2,807, there were 973 fewer property crimes in Flint, 566 fewer reports in Lansing, 92 fewer reports in Sterling Heights and 56 fewer reports in Warren.

Great Lakes Lady

Wed, Jun 5, 2013 : 2:38 p.m.

Unemployment benefits....then when they run security disability payments for life: not enough. Many turn to drugs and theft to supplement their lost income. Jobs are needed in Michigan to put these people to work. Recommended documentary on this issue:


Wed, Jun 5, 2013 : 5:01 p.m.

I really hate this argument. If I lost my job I wouldn't turn to drugs and assaulting/stealing from my neighbors.

Kyle Feldscher

Wed, Jun 5, 2013 : 2:38 p.m.

Here are the crimes per 1,000 people for Detroit, Lansing, Flint and Sterling Heights. I'm going to print violent crime first and then property crime. Detroit - 21, 58. Flint - 27, 56. Lansing - 9, 33 Sterling Heights - 2, 20 Warren - 5, 28.

Stupid Hick

Wed, Jun 5, 2013 : 9:32 p.m.

Thanks Kyle, your math is better than mine.

Kyle Feldscher

Wed, Jun 5, 2013 : 4:18 p.m.

Thanks Tom.

Tom Teague

Wed, Jun 5, 2013 : 2:47 p.m.

For side-by-side comparison: Ann Arbor - 2/24

Tom Teague

Wed, Jun 5, 2013 : 2:33 p.m.

Something in here for everyone: historic low crime in 2011, increased property crime in 2012, and preliminary reports of decreased crime in 2013, possibly as low as 2011. Suspect the repirted decrease is due to increased emphasis on solving crime and improved morale on the force since John Seto's promotion to interim chief in March 2012 and full-time chief in July. As far as response times, while I would like to see them as well, it's also key that we see them in context of crime statistics: responses to violent crimes, crimes in progress, discovery of crimes already committed, etc. When I search for info on response times online, I find a host of data that clearly is agenda- driven - on web pages that are also selling home defense services, for example, so the response time data needs to be normalized for comparison and for evaluating the effect on crime. One site I visited suggested that Chicago's police response is better than the national average, but I don't think any of us are envious of Chicago's violent crime problem.


Wed, Jun 5, 2013 : 2:20 p.m.

These statistical shifts were ALL predicted as a result of the change in concealed weapons permit rules. They are consistent with all other states where the new concealed carry permit rules have been enacted. Criminals would rather steal from unoccupied vehicles and homes than rob potentially armed citizens. There is still more to this, though. The number of unreported larceies is very large (if you talk to detectives instead of their commanders). Victims are just settling for insurance coverage and not bothering with the volumes of paperwork, court delays, light sentences and risks of retaliation that our society burdens people with. I'm betting this information is something the media and career politicians do not want to hear, so lets see how long this post lasts. Meanwhile, just Google this notion...

Stupid Hick

Wed, Jun 5, 2013 : 1:32 p.m.

Interesting article, Kyle. A minor improvement: it would have been useful to calculate and report the per-1000 figures for Detroit, Lansing, etc, to make it easier for readers to compare the cities' relative safety. Reporting only the raw numbers doesn't give readers enough information to make informed opinions. I looked at the FBI report and according to my calculation, Detroit has 47 violent crimes per 1000 residents. Which, by one measure, makes it 26 times more dangerous to live in Detroit, compared to Ann Arbor. Although the FBI report doesn't include stats for Ypsilanti, Dexter, Saline, Canton, and other nearby towns and villages, readers might be interested to compare them to Ann Arbor too. Maybe a good project for a journalist.

Kyle Feldscher

Wed, Jun 5, 2013 : 1:54 p.m.

SH- I have those numbers as well, I decided not to include them because we are an Ann Arbor centric news organization and we have sister papers who would be reporting those numbers. However, when I get into the office I will look those up and publish them in the comments.

Stupid Hick

Wed, Jun 5, 2013 : 1:35 p.m.

er, I mean, 23 times more dangerous to live in Detorit vs Ann Arbor...

Alan Goldsmith

Wed, Jun 5, 2013 : 1:23 p.m.

We need to discuss how Council is going to address this increase in crime in the post-Hieftje era because again and again he's either bashing the police staff or making excuses, and never takes responsibility for anything. His born again-praise of the Ann Arbor Police Detectives is hypocritical in light of his past insults to police staff. Ann Arbor needs a better Mayor.


Wed, Jun 5, 2013 : 12:36 p.m.

2011 vs 2012 Violent crime: -14% Burglaries: +33% Car theft: +20% Arson: +109% Does that make you more or less "comfortable"?


Wed, Jun 5, 2013 : 1:19 p.m.

I guess when the facts are against you that's the sort of thing you say.


Wed, Jun 5, 2013 : 1:07 p.m.

Even more disturbing: Murders went up INFINITY % in 2012!!1 This place is worse than Juarez!

Bob Heinold

Wed, Jun 5, 2013 : 12:23 p.m.

I think reporters should dig a little deeper. FBI statistics have been suspect like LEAA grants. How many crimes go unreported or are redefined or re-interpreted by the police? -Bob H-


Wed, Jun 5, 2013 : 11:50 a.m.

Do these stats include the surrounding townships like Pittsfield and Scio, or just Ann Arbor proper? With the number of home invasions alone in Scio Twp, I would expect the stats to be higher...very misleading to the public. I'd be interested in a report on the twps as well.

Kyle Feldscher

Wed, Jun 5, 2013 : 2:31 p.m.

LuvAA - These crimes only include the city of Ann Arbor. The FBI stats that have been released to this point only deal with cities that have a population higher than 100,000. Those numbers will come out in time, but at this point, these particular stats don't deal with those areas.


Wed, Jun 5, 2013 : 11:48 a.m.

Since property crimes rose anywhere from 20% to 50% depending on what it was, what would of happened if the perpetrators or burglars would of been caught by a homeowner, who would of assaulted whom. Whats considered a violent crime, murder or an assault of bodily harm? Anyone way you put it crime has increased and will continue till we get more police, investigators only investigate, rarely do the catch a criminal in the act only after the fact.


Wed, Jun 5, 2013 : 12:08 p.m.

Please read the article closely. Wow.

Stephen Lange Ranzini

Wed, Jun 5, 2013 : 11:15 a.m.

When the police chief tells you be has insufficient staff to do proactive policing our city leaders should listen. The Mayor's "little experiment" in cutting police, fire fighters, fire inspection and emergency medical services did not work out and had to be reversed. Ten fire fighters had to be added and two more are needed to achieve minimum required staffing to meet national standards for response times under the best of circumstances. Ten police officers were also added and more police are needed too. As @Silly Sally correctly notes, these police are needed for beat cops downtown and detective resources to investigate, take police reports more timely and proactively solve crimes (and *not* for staffing speed traps!). We know the crime rates but what about the crime *solving* rates versus comparable cities?! What about the response times? These were supposed to be released monthly starting 11 months ago at the beginning of the city's new fiscal year July 1st, according to the city's budget document. Where are they? If you have a true emergency and call for help, a police car should be at your door in a reasonable number of minutes. Lastly, if vandalism were included in these stats, the crime stats would look all different. The building where we live downtown has been hit numerous times and that never used to happen. You can only manage what you measure and not having vandalism stats, response time stats or crime solving stats available to the public prevents us from knowing how good a job our public servants are doing (or not).


Thu, Jun 6, 2013 : 12:10 a.m.

And paid for how.......?

Stephen Lange Ranzini

Wed, Jun 5, 2013 : 10:22 p.m.

@Tom Teague: Thanks for the tip and the link!

Tom Teague

Wed, Jun 5, 2013 : 3:48 p.m.

Here's the full link: The icon for vandalism is a can of spray paint on a green background. The types of crime can be isolated on the Crime Type tab.

Tom Teague

Wed, Jun 5, 2013 : 3:43 p.m.

While it's not analysis, the crime map available on the AAPD site shows property crimes including vandalism. You can put together some interesting data sets from the map by using the proximity and date range functions. That used to be a link on

Stephen Lange Ranzini

Wed, Jun 5, 2013 : 3:31 p.m.

@Kyle Feldscher: The city's police department is required by The July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013 city budget to provide via a website dashboard report an *analysis* of crime trends versus comparable cities, crime solving rates versus comparable cities and response times versus comparable cities and isn't providing them to the public. What statistics they use would be I would assume their own. The source of the FBI's statistics is after-all I believe actually from the city of Ann Arbor police department itself, which reports those stats to the FBI. Again @Brad is correct.


Wed, Jun 5, 2013 : 2:58 p.m.

I don't believe anybody thought they were the "mayor's stats". We're saying that the FBI stats may tell an incomplete story of crime trends in the city.

Kyle Feldscher

Wed, Jun 5, 2013 : 2:33 p.m.

As noted in the story, these are not Mayor Hieftje's stats. These stats are compiled by the FBI (by way of the AAPD) and I simply called the mayor for reaction. The stats offered by him were confirmed by Chief Seto.


Wed, Jun 5, 2013 : 1:17 p.m.

For starters, violent crime is the ONLY stat that went down over that period. Burglaries are up. Car thefts are up. Arson is WAY up. So in summary it would appear that crime in general is UP. It cost my wife's employer *thousands* of dollars to clean up graffiti. Just one building of one business.

Stephen Lange Ranzini

Wed, Jun 5, 2013 : 1:04 p.m.

@Brad is correct as to what I mean. Thanks for having my back while I was on a plane and off-line!


Wed, Jun 5, 2013 : 12:56 p.m.

Yeah, who cares about rapes, robberies, and assaults? The real metrics we should be using to track crime in this city are the number of times some kid spray paints an expensive downtown high rise. Those are the real victims.


Wed, Jun 5, 2013 : 12:31 p.m.

I don't think he wants the FBI to change their statistic tracking as much as he wants the mayor to use a more accurate measure of crime in the city. One that doesn't exclude things that people actually care about.


Wed, Jun 5, 2013 : 11:33 a.m.

Reaching desperately. You want the FBI to keep different statistics for just our city? This horse is mostly dead but for perhaps a few downtown beat cops to make folks feel as safe as they actually are.


Wed, Jun 5, 2013 : 11 a.m.

Very good! With dwindling resources, the AAPD is able to marshall its efforts to help slow crime. Right now, I would say, the largest risk of crimes to property and its owners comes from the City Council... Witness the recent crime of of the poorly thought out D1/D2 zoning and its affect on local neighborhoods.

Silly Sally

Wed, Jun 5, 2013 : 10:59 a.m.

We need more detectives to solve property crimes, and beat cops, especially at certian times. There is no reason that on a Late Saturday evening If I happen to go to Pizza House, after a church event, that I should be cautious or even fearful at 1 AM. But this is exactly when a lot of Ann Arbor's crime seems to happen around South U between 10 PM and 3 AM on THursday - Saturday evenings. Someone commented that the sub-station under the Maynard Parking garage is always closed. Why? It should be open, not just a place where cops hide inside to fill out reports behind locked doors. This is not Chief Seto's fault, it is the mayor's fault. We need police for crime prevention, stop "tagging" - there was a great article about how property owners, especially business owners spend a lot to remove this. We do not need more speed traps on major roads, we do need more speed traps on residential streets where children play and cats prowl. Who cares if a car goes 45 past Pioneer High School on a Sunday Morning? It is more important that cars do not go 35 past homes, or faster as they avoid crowded streets such as Huron or Packard.

Jim Osborn

Wed, Jun 5, 2013 : 12:45 p.m.

@Usual Suspect - It can be a matter of safety. On a Sunday morning, on Ann Arbor Saline by Pioneer and the golf course there is nothing. No people, unsused, at that time of day, driveway. Ditto for one at State St. But I live by streets, Brandywine to Yost that gets traffic that passes from Packard to Washtenaw. During the warmer days, there are small children playing outside. There are curves, parked cars, yet some traffic exceeds 35 MPH. The speed limit in this residential area is 25. You be the judge, which is a better use of limited police traffic resources; residential or main roads; if it is about safety, and not about money?

Usual Suspect

Wed, Jun 5, 2013 : 12:16 p.m.

It seems to me that you are in favor of speed traps where other people regularly exceed the speed limit, but not where you regularly exceed the speed limit.


Wed, Jun 5, 2013 : 10:45 a.m.

Hieftje! Statements and rational made by a true politician. Go figure!


Wed, Jun 5, 2013 : 10:36 a.m.

Our police are the best. Let's hire ten more!


Wed, Jun 5, 2013 : 12:49 p.m.

@Silly Sally; Wise words from a silly girl.

Usual Suspect

Wed, Jun 5, 2013 : 12:13 p.m.

If you would obey the laws, we wouldn't need to have speed traps.

Silly Sally

Wed, Jun 5, 2013 : 10:48 a.m.

it depends why and where. We need more detectives to solve burgleries and other property crimes, beat cops downtown, but less speed traps on major roads such as Huron, State, or Ann Arbor-Saline. Does anyone actualy miss the cops enforcing 35 MPH just north of Washtenaw on Huron Pky on that stretch to the Huron River? Not a driveway for 1/2 mile, so an illegal speedlimit by state law.