Crime is up in the city of Aurora, the first time that's happened in nearly a decade.

The Aurora Police Department released its preliminary 2012 major crime statistics, which showed a 1.9 percent increase in crime last year.

The data break overall crime into seven categories, including murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft.

Officials, however, were quick to point out that the numbers are skewed by the July 20 movie theater shootings that left 12 dead and dozens wounded. Had the shootings not occurred, the increase in crime would have amounted to just 1.3 percent, said Frank Fania, spokesman for the Aurora Police Department.

The theater shootings also had a significant impact on the city's violent crime statistics, he said. Overall, violent crimes were up 1.2 percent in 2012, but without the shootings, those crime statistics would have shown a decrease of about 3.5 percent, he said. The number of murder victims, for instance, went from just 12 in 2011 to 29 in 2012.

In all, the city witnessed declines in two of four violent crime indexes, including the number of forcible rape victims and the number of robbery incidents.

There were 179 rape cases in 2012 compared to 186 in 2011, a 3.8 percent decrease. In addition, there were 480 robberies last year versus 515 in 2011, a 6.8 percent decrease.


The number of burglaries showed the biggest decline, going from 2,145 in 2011 to 1,780 in 2012, a 17 percent decrease, according to the police department. It marks the second consecutive year burglaries have been down; in 2010, there were 2,307 reported burglaries in Aurora.

Curbing the number of burglaries has been an area of focus for the Aurora Police Department, which recently launched a Burglary Impact Group aimed at curtailing the crime.

The city has made strides to reduce overall crime in recent years. Aurora was named by Forbes Magazine as one of the top 10 safest communities in the United States in 2011, at least among cities with populations of more than 250,000 people.