Compare crime rates in Columbia and Capital City

It's the tale of mid-Missouri's two largest cities, Jefferson City and Columbia.

Many of mid-Missourians live in one city and travel to the other for work or play. The same goes for criminals.

Police said criminals go back and forth too. In the arrest of 16 cutthroat gang members earlier this year, police said they were involved in drive by shootings in both Jefferson City and Columbia.

But, which city is actually worse when it comes to crimes per capita?

The 2009 crime statistics tell the story clearly.

Columbia's had three murders and Jefferson City two: based on population that puts the Capital City's murder rate 1.5 times higher.

Columbia has had 23 reported rapes and Jefferson City has had 5, making Columbia's rate nearly double Jefferson City's.

Columbia has had 115 cases of robbery, compared to 32 cases in Jefferson City, but based on population the rate is similar, but Columbia was higher.

Columbia has had 231 reported assaults, Jefferson City had 141, putting Jefferson City rate at about 1.5 times higher.

Columbia has had 494 reported burglary, Jefferson city has had 143, Columbia is worse here, but not by much.

When it comes to theft, Columbia has had 2329 incidents is a lot higher than Jefferson City's 784, but based on population the rates are close, but Columbia is worst.

For arson Jefferson City has had 31 case, compares to Columbia's 8 arson cases, which is about ten times the rate when based on population. But Jefferson City police said this year's number is misleading because of a rash of dumpster fires were all deemed arson.

Both police departments point out the crime is generally down this year compared to last year and that crime seems to be popping up in areas other than downtown.

"We've seen a shift in where crime occurs in Columbia, Columbia Police Dept. Jessie Haden said. It used to be many years ago that the crime rates and crime numbers calls for service would be much, much higher in the central city area.

Rental properties attract a lot more crime. Since both cities have universities, there are more rental properties.

The Jefferson City and Columbia Police Departments did not comment on which neighborhoods in the city attracted more crime.

See Crime rates in Columbia and Jefferson City:

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