Charleston reports more serious crimes in 2016

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – Police say that most serious crimes increased in Charleston last year pushed by an ongoing drug epidemic.

WCHS-TV reports that Charleston police data show 11 murders last year, up from seven, and 153 robberies, nine more than the year before.

Police Chief Brent Webster says “the heroin/opioid epidemic is driving almost all of our crime.”

Incidents of home burglaries and breaking and entering rose from 768 to 969. Similar crimes involving vehicles increased from 528 to 797.

Car thefts rose from 244 to 312. There were 111 more larcenies for a total of 1,985.

The city recorded 114 malicious woundings, an increase of seven.

There were 36 reported rapes, 18 fewer than the year before.

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