OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Oklahoma's overall crime rate decreased by 6 percent in 1999, but the murder rate was on the rise after a big
decline in 1998, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation reported Monday.
The OSBI's preliminary statistics showed 231 murders in 1999, an increase of 13.2 percent more than the 204 reported in 1998. The 1998
figures were 10.9 percent below the 229 recorded in 1997.
Murder was the only index crime category to rise. The number of rapes, robberies, aggravated assaults, burglaries, thefts, auto
thefts and arsons all declined for the third year in a row.
The biggest decline was in auto thefts with 12,131 reported, down 10.5 percent from 1998's 13,548.
The OSBI said there were 1,379 rapes in 1999, a drop of 8.8 percent and 2,781 robberies, down 9.6 percent. There were 12,676
aggravated assaults, down 4.3 percent. The number of thefts stood at 93,629, down 4 percent. Arsons totaled 1,322, down .5 percent.
Burglaries totaled 34,470, down 9.8 percent.
The statistics released Monday are part of the OSBI's Uniform Crime Report. The OSBI has been collecting the data since 1974. The full report won't be ready until this summer.
"We are encouraged to see most crime categories drop significantly over the last three years," said A. DeWade Langley, OSBI director. "The overall decrease in the crime rate is a credit to both the citizens of this state and to the law enforcement community.