CU-Boulder Overall Crime Statistics Continue Five-Year Decline

Published: Feb. 26, 1998

Overall crime declined at the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1997, although increases were shown in certain categories, according to the annual Data Report released today by the CU Police Department.

The overall decline continues a multi-year trend of decreasing criminal activity, said Jim Fadenrecht, director of Public Safety. In 1997, there were 2,819 reports of crime, compared with 2,971 in 1996 and an average of 3,002 in the years from 1994 to 1996.

“While we’re encouraged by the overall report, we continue to be concerned about any increases in serious crime on our campus,” Fadenrecht said. “Safety is a high priority in this community, and we are committed to doing everything we can to ensure a healthy and safe environment for our students, staff, faculty and visitors.”

Statistics showed a slight one-year increase in crimes designated as “Part I” offenses, considered the most serious by nature or frequency. This category includes homicide, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, simple assault, burglary, theft, motor vehicle theft and arson.

Part I crimes accounted for 812 offenses in 1997, compared with 787 in 1996 and an average of 876 in the years from 1994 to 1996, Fadenrecht said. Theft and burglary accounted for 89 percent of Part I crimes.

Included in the Part I category was one homicide, the September 1997 death of David Simpson whose body was found near Boulder Creek on the north edge of the campus. Simpson, 48, was not a CU-Boulder student.

Other serious crimes reported were five forcible rapes, two robberies, eight aggravated assaults, 38 simple assaults, 101 burglaries, 619 thefts, 16 motor vehicle thefts and 22 arsons. The arson reports reflect a significant number of campus kiosk and dumpster fires set related to the May 1997 disturbances in the Hill area.

Police reported 697 arrests in 1997, compared with 600 in the previous year, and recovery of property valued at about $112,000. Arrests for Part 1 crimes increased to 120 in 1997 from 99 in 1996.

The Data Report shows a decline in the value of property stolen as well as in the number of thefts reported, despite an increase in burglaries and motor vehicle thefts. Thefts of bicycles declined for the third straight year, with 140 reported, down from 190 in 1996. The report showed 30 thefts from coin-operated machines, up from 19 in 1996.

Police report there were 171 alcohol offenses in 1997, up from 145 in 1996. These totals include 161 arrests of “minors in possession” (persons under the legal drinking age of 21), which are up from 141 in 1996. Police made 82 DUI arrests in 1997, up from 57 in 1996.

In recent weeks, the campus and Boulder community have collaborated on an information campaign to educate citizens, including students, on safety enhancement measures. The joint efforts were initiated following the Dec. 21 off-campus attack on CU-Boulder student Susannah Chase who died the next day.