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Crime in Cambridge Up 4 Percent Through Early November Compared to 2019, Police Say

The Cambridge Police Department has recorded a 4 percent increase in crime from last year with a total of 2,035 serious crimes this year, though the total remains slightly below the city's five-year average, according to CPD's monthly crime report.
The Cambridge Police Department has recorded a 4 percent increase in crime from last year with a total of 2,035 serious crimes this year, though the total remains slightly below the city's five-year average, according to CPD's monthly crime report. By Kathryn S. Kuhar
By Mayesha R. Soshi, Contributing Writer

The Cambridge Police Department has recorded a 4 percent increase in crime from last year with a total of 2,035 serious crimes this year, though the total remains slightly below the city’s five-year average, according to CPD’s monthly crime report.

Despite an increase in certain crimes linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, police have recorded seven fewer serious crimes — including murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, and auto theft — than the five-year average of 2,042 incidents as of early November.

Violent crimes — which encompass homicide, rape, robbery, and aggrevated assault — also saw a 3 percent decrease, with 238 incidents reported compared to 246 at this time last year.

This year, Cambridge witnessed its first and only murder since January 2019. In April, police arrested Jose Bermudez on accusations that he stabbed and killed Danilo Perez, a homeless man living in Central Square. Bermudez is being held without bail, according to the CPD monthly report.

CPD also recorded six shots fired incidents, none of which resulted in injury. Last year, police noted 10 shots fired incidents through the same time frame, with one resulting in a non-fatal injury.

Robberies decreased by nine reported incidents — approximately a 15 percent drop — to 52; 43 of those robberies were classified as street incidents and nine were classified as commercial robberies.

Similarly to last year, Cambridge has not seen a bank robbery as of October 2020. Property crimes, however, did increase this year with a 5 percent upward trend when compared to the same time period in 2019.

The report identified increases in crimes that police linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, including bicycle larcenies, package thefts, psychiatric-related calls, and unemployment fraud reports.

“The surge of unemployment fraud reports that peaked in June, abated during the summer months, and has exploded over the past six weeks,” the report stated.

Larcenies in bicycles saw an increase of 59 percent, as compared to the 5-year average, while psychiatric-related calls saw an increase of 83 percent when compared to 2019 data.

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