Overall crime in Macon and unincorporated Bibb County dropped in 2012.
The Bibb County Sheriffs Office reported a nearly 10 percent drop, while Macon police saw the lowest total crime numbers in 19 years, a decrease of 13 percent.
Burglaries -- residential and commercial -- plummeted in the city and county.
Police Chief Mike Burns attributed the drop to a concentrated attack launched in January 2012, when officers increased their visibility, checked on businesses more often and drove through residential neighborhoods more frequently. Burns also said property crime detectives were effective in taking serial burglars off the streets.
That shows theyre more attentive, Burns said of his officers. Theyre responding quicker.
Meanwhile, homicides in Macon rose from 13 in 2011 to 21 in 2012, while killings in the county decreased from four to three. Three of the Macon homicides and one Bibb homicide remain unsolved.
The number of reported rapes remained stable in Bibb County while they rose by nine in Macon.
Burns said rapes and homicides are hard for police to prevent.
We just try to get them in jail quick, he said.
Macon police and Bibb deputies had a higher rate for solving violent crimes than the national average in 2012, according to police and sheriffs office news releases. For example, Macons rate of solving homicides was 86 percent, while the national average was 65 percent.
Some of the property crime decreases in unincorporated Bibb County can be linked to tighter metal recycling laws that went into effect last year, said Sheriff David Davis.
In recent years, people had been breaking into buildings -- and sometimes stealing cars -- to get metal they would sell for cash, Davis said.
Like Burns, Davis said arresting serial criminals led to the drop.
Typically, when we arrest someone for burglary or entering auto, its not just because theyve done just one, Davis said. Its because theyve done a number of them.
Crime prevention and community outreach programs also seem to be working. Residents are getting the message that keeping their cars locked and valuables out of sight deters car break-ins, the sheriff said.
Law enforcement also saw decreases in auto thefts and general thefts, according to statistics released Tuesday.
The number of commercial burglaries, thefts and auto thefts reported in Macon last year was the fewest in the 19 years that records have been kept, according to a police news release.
Arsons countywide remained stable: The city reported a decrease of seven while the county had six more than in 2011.
The number of aggravated assaults and robberies increased in both Macon and Bibb County in 2012.
In the county, eight of the 30 commercial robberies can be attributed to a string of heists at the X-Mart adult store on Emery Highway, Davis said.
The aggravated assaults in the county mainly were rooted in domestic disputes, he said.
The number of Macons robberies and aggravated assaults reported in 2011 was the lowest the city had seen in 19 years, statistics show.
Burns said police had anticipated the numbers would rise in 2012.
Reports of robberies and aggravated assaults in Macon in 2012 are the second-lowest in the past 19 years, according to the numbers released Tuesday.
To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.