Is It a Crime to Live in Elkhart?

Let the Facts Speak for Themselves

Ashley Rojas, Writer

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Some say that it’s a crime living in Elkhart. They might be right.

However, based on a report revealing an overall downward trend in crime locally, Elkhart’s 2019 incident rate is expected to be lower than in 2016.

The city’s violent crime rate in 2016 was higher than the national average by 279.41%, according to CityRating.com. And, the property crime rate was higher than the national property crime rate by 75.95%.

Projected crime rate data for 2019, though, shows a drop—sometimes very significantly—in all areas except for Aggravated Assault, where an increase of 84 reports over 2016’s 642 is expected, and Violent Crimes, with a projected increase of 47 cases over the 791 reported in 2016.

Significant decreases, however, appear in the following areas:

2016                2019

Total Crime Rate:     2,522               1,618

Property Crime:        2,264               1,360

Theft & Larceny:      1,540               802

 

Other notable decreases include these:

2016                2019

Arson                          12                    3

Burglary                     485                  408

Rape:                          38                    30

Motor Theft               239                  163

Robbery                     96                    74

Murder                       15                    8

 

This past year, in 2018, there were 3,543 arrests in Elkhart. Among them were 505 counts of left, 187 counts of assault, 123 burglaries, and 118 counts of vandalism.

Notable events include the fact that local and Federal investigators are still looking for an Elkhart woman charged with a fatal shooting a man in May. In another case, an Elkhart man is being accused of robbing a convenience store at knifepoint before being hit by a car while he was fleeing the scene. And, more recently, an Elkhart man is accused of stabbing two men multiple times after taking them to his home on August 21, 2019.

So, while Elkhart was listed as only safer than 7 percent of U.S. cities, the chance of becoming a victim of a violent crime is relatively low—a 1-in-89 chance—while the chance of being a victim of a non-violent crime, such as property crime, is a bit higher, with a 1-in-29 chance.

The National Council for Home Safety and Security listed Elkhart as one of the least safe cities in Indiana. However, the report failed to calculate the immense progress the city is realizing. Elkhart Police Sgt. Chris Snyder provided the following statement to ABC57 News: “The City of Elkhart and Elkhart Police Department have worked very hard on crime reduction with those efforts we saw a reduction in all major crimes in 2017 compared to 2016.”

Thus, while Elkhart may have a ways to go before relinquishing its title as an unsafe city, it is safe to say that it is moving in the right direction.