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Summer Larcenies Fall, Burglaries Rise

By Xi Yu, Crimson Staff Writer

With an unusual drop in larcenies in Cambridge this summer, the Cambridge Police Department says that a new statistics program that compiles and analyzes crime data has helped the force carry out more informed policing.

The program, BridgeStat, was introduced in July 2010.

“We have been able to use it more effectively to predict where/when crime is going to occur and deploy our resources accordingly,” Cambrige Police Department spokesperson Daniel M. Riviello wrote in an email.

According to the BridgeStat cumulative reports, Cambridge saw 553 larcenies from May 24 to Aug. 1, a 6.7 percent decrease from last year’s 593 larcenies during the same period. According to Riviello, larceny rates generally increase over the summer when incidents of pickpocketing rise.

But burglaries during that period increased by more than 50 percent from 2010 to 2011, with 123 burglaries this summer and 81 last summer. Overall crime rates, however, saw little change between this year and last.

The statistics program provides a monthly cumulative report of street and violent crimes that allows Cambridge police to improve intelligence-led policing strategies based on data like historical trends and breakdowns of crime by type.

The information is also made available online to the public to build community awareness.

Riviello also said the Department has used BridgeStat data to pinpoint patterns of break-ins in several neighborhoods.

In Cambridgeport, for instance, Cambridge police successfully reduced break-ins by applying a heavier police presence while sharing prevention tips with residents.

This summer, a number of arrests in Cambridge made headlines.

On July 19, a former Harvard fellow Aaron Swartz was charged with hacking into the MIT network to steal 4 million JSTOR articles and other content with the intention of distributing them for free.

In mid-June, Cambridge police made five arrests in a three-day span following three separate robberies.

In one of the three cases, Cambridge police arrested three men who allegedly beat up and robbed a man at a bus stop.

The next day, police arrested a man in connection with an armed robbery. His accomplice was arrested the day after.

About a month later, Cambridge police arrested a suspect who allegedly raped a 19-year-old woman on July 4.

And in mid-July, three suspects were arraigned for “conspiring to induce travel to engage in prostitution” after a long-term FBI investigation exposed  four brothels in Cambridge and Allston.

—Staff writer Xi Yu can be reached at

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