The Lee County Sheriff's Office today reported non-violent crimes are down 13 percent and violent crimes fell 1 percent through the first half of the year.
The bad news is auto thefts rose 42.5 percent from 219 last year to 312 this year. Homicides more than doubled from five to 11.
The good news is the mid-year report shows an overall drop of 663 crimes or 11.77 percent.
Thefts were off 430 cases from 3,152 last year to 2,722 this year and residential burglaries fell 261 cases from 1,445 to 1,184. Business burglaries were down from 213 to 152
"As 2011 came to a close, while overall crime was down, those categories previously reflected increases," said Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott. "This is excellent news showing initiatives such as the scrap metal ordinance and the hard work of deputies and detectives on the street is working."
Robberies led an overall reduction in violent crimes, descending from 169 to 150.
The Sheriff's Office has primary jurisdiction for the unincorporated areas of Lee County, including Gasparilla Island, as well as Bonita Springs and Fort Myers Beach, but has countywide arrest powers. The Sheriff also operates two correctional facilities, court operations and service of criminal warrants, civil court orders and much more.