- Bill DiPaolo Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
The number of reported serious crimes dropped about 11 percent in Jupiter in the first six months of this year compared to last year, despite several high-profile offenses.
Serious crimes include murder, rape, arson and aggravated assault. Not included are crimes such as retail theft, driving under the influence and trespassing.
That 11 percent drop in reported serious crimes comes after Jupiter saw a 9 percent increase in the same six-month period in 2016 compared to 2015.
The six-month crime stats are from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Juno Beach had a 16 percent reduction in reported serious crimes for the first six months of 2017 compared to the first six months on 2016. Tequesta had a 27 percent reduction, according to FDLE.
“ The Jupiter Police Department credits the collaborative efforts between our dedicated staff and the community involvement for the decrease in overall crime,” said Jupiter Police Chief Frank Kitzerow via e-mail. “Through these indispensable partnerships, we continue to take a proactive approach in promoting safe and secure neighborhoods.”
Reported serious crimes in Jupiter increased about 11 percent in 2015 compared to 2014. Reported serious crimes decreased about 4 percent in 2014 compared to 2013, according to FDLE figures.
There were less reported rapes, robberies, larcenies and other crimes during the first six months of 2017 compared to the first six months of 2016.
But there were three murders this year, compared to none in the first six months of 2016.
Kelli J. Doherty, 20, of Tequesta, Sean P. Henry, 25, of Jupiter, and Brandi El-Salhy, 24, of Gainesville, were found shot to death just before 11 p.m. Feb. 5 after a party on Mohawk Street in the Jupiter River Estates neighborhood.
Jupiter resident Christopher Vasata, 24, faces three counts of first-degree murder as well as other felony charges in the shooting deaths. Vasata is being held without bond at the Palm Beach Count Jail.
Another high-profile offense was the 3 a.m. June 1 vehicle crash that killed two paramedics.
Lahiri Garcia, 51, and Paul Besaw, 36, were killed when their ambulance collided with another vehicle and overturned on Indiantown Road at Philadelphia Drive.
Genaro Delacruz Ajqui, 39, is charged with with two counts of DUI manslaughter, two counts of vehicular homicide, one count of DUI damage to person/property, and one count of driving without a license causing death. Ajqui is being held without bail at the Palm Beach County Jail.
Here’s a sampling of Jupiter reported crimes in the first six months of 2017 (first six months of 2016)
Total Crimes reported: 658 (741 in first six months of 2016)
Murder: 3 (0)
Rape: 5 (8)
Robbery: 9 (23)
Aggravated Assault: 30 (30)
Burglary: 67 (80)
Larceny: 515 (568)
Motor Vehicle Theft: 29 (32)
Percentage Clearance Rate per 100 offenses: 28.1 (32.1)