LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (KTSM) – The Las Cruces Police Dept. released data regarding crime rates in 2022 that showed a significant increase in property crimes.

The number of property crimes last year jumped to 6,237 compared to 4,929 total cases in 2021 – an increase of approximately 27-percent.

Property crimes include things such as burglary, larceny, vehicle thefts, breaking and entering, arson, and shoplifting.

“We’re never happy to see an increase in criminal cases,” said LCPD Chief Miguel Dominguez. “We are not alone when it comes to seeing a spike in criminal behavior. Statistics across the country, particularly when it comes to property crimes, are showing similar increases since 2020.”

The Department noted that the increase can partially be attributed to “crimes of opportunity” in which someone leaves a door unlocked or a vehicle idling in a parking lot and a criminal takes advantage.

“The men and women of the Las Cruces Police Department take crime prevention seriously,” said Chief Dominguez. “But unfortunately, police cannot prevent all crimes. Over the last several years we have spoken to several community groups about crime prevention and what they can do to help.”

LCPD also reported a very small decrease in the total number of violent crimes recorded in 2022.

That number fell from 711 in the year 2021 to 699 last year. The most common type of violent crime witnessed was aggravated assault, which accounted for 551 of the 699 violent crime cases reported.

Other forms of violent crime included homicide (ten cases in 2022), rape (60 cases last year), and robbery (78 cases reported).