Major Nevada Cities Report Increase In Property Crimes

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Property crimes increased in Nevada's largest cities last year, including a 20 percent jump in Clark County, according to preliminary FBI crime statistics.

Las Vegas police, who cover the city and unincorporated Clark County, said the increase in burglaries and thefts highlighted a need for more detectives and stiffer sentences for convictions.

"My biggest challenge is having enough staff and cops to prevent crime," said Clark County Sheriff Bill Young, who is pushing for a sales tax increase to pay for more police officers.

The FBI report found violent crime increased 2 percent last year in and around Las Vegas - less than the southern Nevada growth rate and lower than the 3.2 percent violent crime rate reported nationwide.

Reno reported a 10.8 percent increase in property crimes, but a 15.4 percent decrease in violent crimes including murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault.

Henderson reported a 6.8 percent increase in property crimes and a 6.6 percent decrease in violent crimes.

Young said he was concerned that rising crime rates could begin to hurt tourism, southern Nevada's chief economy.

Arson was the only crime that decreased in Las Vegas police jurisdiction, down 2 percent in 2003 compared with 2002.