FBI reports decrease in county crime

Most categories of crime decreased across San Diego County last year, the FBI reported Monday.

In the region’s namesake city, overall reported violent crime declined 4.5 percent in 2008 from the prior year’s total, and the number of property-related offenses dropped 8.6 percent, according to the federal law enforcement agency.

Despite the improvements, two types of crime were more common last year in San Diego: forcible rape, which increased by 80 incidents, or 27 percent; and burglary, which increased by 64, or 1 percent.

In Chula Vista, meanwhile, violent crime went down 9.7 percent last year, and property crime decreased by 10.5 percent, the FBI reported.

The generally positive trends were mirrored in Escondido, where the number of reported violent offenses fell 13.7 percent and property crime dwindled by 3.4 percent, and in Oceanside, which enjoyed drops of 11.2 percent and 9 percent, respectively.

Both of the North County cities, however, also saw increases in forcible rape last year - 11 percent in the former and 19.6 percent in the latter - and arson, which went up 17 percent and 19 percent, respectively.

Additionally, there were two more homicides in Oceanside - for a total of five - and in Escondido, burglary increased 11 percent, according to the FBI.