FDLE says crime in the Keys saw an overall drop from 2012 to 2013

Crime is down in Monroe County, according to data submitted to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Crime is down in Monroe County, according to data submitted to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

The Florida Keys did their part to cut the statewide crime rate to what the Florida Department of Law Enforcement calls a "historic low."

The number of serious crimes covered by the annual Uniform Crime Report were down nearly across the board in 2013 from 2012 across the board in Monroe County and Key West, resulting in an annual overall county decline in the crime rate of 10 percent.

The FDLE bases its Uniform Crime report on statistics submitted from police agencies in the state.

The FDLE released statewide figures Wednesday that show Florida's crime rate, based on crimes per 100,000 people, stood at the lowest rate in 43 years.

In Key West, violent crime dropped by more than 14 percent, and nonviolent crimes dipped 4.5 percent. Key West saw no murders in 2013 after seeing one in 2012.

In the rest of the county, crime overall decreased by 13.8 percent, attributed to a drop in burglaries and thefts.

In Key West, the number of robberies went down 27 percent, from 51 to 37; and aggravated assaults dropped almost 10 percent, 135 to 122.

"We're always glad to see the numbers come down," Key West Police Chief Donie Lee said. "We are dedicated to doing all we can to see crime rates continue to drop."

Key West had 21 reported forcible rapes in 2013, one more than a year earlier.

Key West's rate of thefts and burglaries would have been lower without a jump in stolen smart phones. "The rash of phone thefts ended after a Miami couple was arrested in October," says a Key West summary.

The one crime category where numbers increased in both Key West and Monroe County was the theft of autos. Key West, where stolen scooters are a common report, had 101 vehicle thefts in 2013 after 95 the year before.

The Monroe County Sheriff's Office, which also patrols the cities of Marathon, Islamorada and Layton, reported 50 vehicle thefts, up by two from 2012.

The county's rate of aggravated assaults went up 17 percent, from 154 in 2012 to 180 in 2013. Reported forcible rapes edged upward, from 12 to 15, and robberies were stable.

The Sheriff's Office investigated two murders in 2013, one fewer than 2012.

Property-theft crimes in the county dropped 17 percent to 1,144 in 2013, and burglaries declined 12 percent to 302.

Key Colony Beach reported a crime-rate drop of 21.4 percent in 2013. Although in the Middle Keys city with a population of 802, that means there were 11 burglaries or thefts reported, down from 14 in 2012. Two people were arrested by Key Colony Beach police, both for driving under the influence.

Countywide, 385 people were charged with driving under the influence, a 14.2 percent drop from 2012.

Data collected as part of the FDLE's annual Uniform Crime Report show the overall crime rate dropped 4.7 percent, from a total of 725,987 incidents in 2012 to 698,607 last year. The state population increased by nearly 200,000.