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Skewed crime stats put Grand Coulee in first place


Grand Coulee got first place, but not necessarily the type of first place you’d want to receive.

An FBI report for the state of Washington shows that Grand Coulee, for its size, was rated first in the state for burglaries for the year 2015.

Statistics show that Grand Coulee had 23 burglaries for its population of 1,056, a statistic skewed because it doesn’t account for the population of Electric City, which the Grand Coulee Police also support, noted Police Chief John Tufts.

Two other nearby communities on the list include Winthrop, which was listed number two, with seven burglaries; and Oroville, which was ninth, with 23 burglaries for its population of 1,676.

“It’s really a skewed number since burglaries in Electric City are filed under Grand Coulee,” Tufts noted Tuesday. “A lot of the incidents reported have to do with storage units.”

Adding Electric City’s population would roughly double the reporting population, according to state population estimates, thus cutting in half the rate of burglaries per capita reported for “Grand Coulee.”

The resulting ranking would put Grand Coulee, together with Electric City, at about 11 burglaries per thousand people (about the same as Omak and Seattle), compared to 17 for both Winthrop and Quincy.

Coulee Dam, with a population listed of 1,089, reported six burglaries in 2015.

Quincy had 124 burglaries (population 7,499), Aberdeen had 257 burglaries for its population of 16,100; Yakima had 1,307 for its population of 93,798; and Spokane had 2,817 with its population of 212,698, or about 13 per thousand.

A national home security company, Protect America, included the cities on its “Top 10 Burglary Hot Spots.”

Ferry and Okanogan counties didn’t have any of their cities in that company’s top-10 report.

Each year the Uniform Crime Report provides information on a number of areas of crimes known to law enforcement agencies.

The report shows that some 35 percent of the burglaries in the state occur along highways. Residential burglaries account for 18.9 percent; parking lots and garages account for 9.3 percent; department and discount stores 4 percent, and schools 3.2 percent.

Some 39,688 burglaries were reported in the state in 2015.

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