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Led by a 94-per-cent increase in housebreaks, the Cambridge crime rate for the first six months of this year jumped 36 per cent over 1978, police officials said yesterday.
Aggravated assaults and rapes decreased in the city in comparison to the same six-month period last year, Cpt. Anthony Paolillo of the Cambridge Police said yesterday.
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"What really killed us, though, was the housebreaks," Paolillo said. He added that the two-year comparison might not be totally valid, since the blizzard that shut down the city for several weeks last year reduced the number of housebreaks. The number of robberies definitely rose, however, he said.
The jump in the overall crime rate was greater than those recorded in Boston, Fall River and New Bedford, and slightly smaller than the increase in Springfield, the only other cities in Massachusetts with populations above 100,000.
"Part of it is certainly the economy," Paolillo said. He also blamed student unwillingness to call police.
"In a residential neighborhood, the neighbors call if they see someone suspicious, but if the people are transients, they don't know each other, they don't want to call and cause any trouble," Paolillo said.
"Students will watch someone pull a U-Haul up to the back of a house and start loading furniture, and they won't think anything of it," he added.
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