CHICAGO — As summer draws to a close – a season when crime typically spikes – newly released numbers from the Chicago Police Department show shootings and murders in Chicago have declined for the third straight year.  However several other categories of crime continue to surge.

Police stats show 1,988 people were shot and 418 people were murdered in the first eight months of the year. Shooting incidents are down 12% while murders are down 9% for the year.  Both are the lowest numbers since before the pandemic but still higher than 2019.  Police say the homicide clearance rate is 50%, which would be the highest murder solve rate since 2014.

The number of car thefts in the city has doubled this year compared to last year and is up 226% from 2019.  A police press release notes there have been 835 carjackings in the city, down 26% compared to last year while arrests have gone up. 

Critics have previously accused the department of “downgrading” certain categories of crime, depending on circumstances. For example: A person found in a stolen vehicle would be charged with motor vehicle theft instead of vehicular hijacking if detectives don’t have enough evidence that the person behind the wheel is the same person who actually stole the car.  A police spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Police stats show overall the most serious categories of crime – including murder, burglary, sexual assault and motor vehicle theft – are up 32% so far this year and 54% compared to pre-pandemic levels.