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Violent crime down in Ceres yet police make more arrests
• Part I crimes dropped between 2018 & 2019
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Violent crimes were down significantly in 2019 from 2018 but arrests increased according to information on Part I crimes released by Ceres Police Department.

Ceres saw only one homicide case in 2019, which was constant to the same number in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Forcible rape cases dropped from 29 in 2018 to 12 in 2019. Ceres Police handled 11 cases of rape in 2016 and 18 in 2017.

Assaults also dropped, from 330 in 2018 to 325 in 2019. But the 2019 numbers were higher than the 280 assault cases in 2016 and 319 in 2017.

Robberies dropped to 59 in 2019 from 75 in the previous year, according to Police Chief Rick Collins. Ceres Police handled 70 robberies in 2017 and 66 in 2016.

Burglaries fell to their lowest in the past four years. In 2019 there were 239 reports of burglaries compared to 326 in 2018, 283 in 2017 and 278 in 2016.

There was less auto theft, the recent crime statistics reveal, between 2018 and 2018. Last year 291 cases of motor vehicle thefts were filed compared to 338 in 2018, 358 in 2017 and 384 in 2016.

Despite mostly less serious crimes, Ceres Police were busier making arrests. In 2019 Ceres Police made arrests 2,085 times, up from 1,703 in 2018 and 1,594 in 2017.

Arrests for driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol were fairly constant over the past four years but dropped last year to 85. A total of 87 DUI arrests were made in 2018; 95 in 2017 and 83 in 2016. 

“DUI arrests seem to be a common occurrence,” said Chief Collins.

There was a slight decrease in the volume of emergency calls to 911, the statistics reveal. A total of 24,062 calls to 911 were recorded in 2019, down a bit from the 24,239 calls in 2018. Non-emergency calls were also down, from 108,434 in 2018 to 107,186 in 2019. Not all of those calls resulted in a dispatch to patrol officers but they, too, were down. A total of 23,764 calls were dispatched to officers in 2019, compared to 25,204 in 2018.

Ceres’ crime tally contrasted with the five percent increase experienced by the nearby city of Turlock. The 2019 numbers rose in Turlock after three years of decreases.

Turlock Police Chief Nino Amirfar said his city’s increase is a direct impact of the budgetary cuts imposed on the department in March 2019.

Conventional wisdom suggests that 2020 will see even less activity by year’s end with the months of state’s lockdown of the economy and social distancing practices from the COVID-19 pandemic. But Chief Collins said it appears that there has been an upward trend in auto thefts and burglaries during 2020.