Naperville crime stats show crimes against property more likely than crimes against people

Naperville crime statistics showed you were more likely to have your car stolen or merchandise stolen from your store than you were to get punched.

The annual report shows crimes against property made up the majority — 65% — of all criminal activity in Naperville last year. In that category, shoplifting increased from a total of 243 incidents in 2022 to 383 last year. Car thefts increased from 50 incidents in 2022 to 81.

Naperville Police Chief Jason Arres noted that 35 of the reported car thefts are believed to be connected to a string of Hyundai and Kia thefts inspired by a social media trend. In the report, police noted both car companies have offered anti-theft software upgrades and encouraged car owners to visit their dealerships for more information.

In 2022, Arres said worked with local business owners and encouraged them to contact police about any retail thefts.

“We found out in some instances businesses were underreporting or not reporting shoplifting to police,” Arres said. “One of the big pushes I made in the community was reporting these crimes to us so we can investigate them and catch the people who are victimizing our store owners.”

He added that reporting shoplifting to police helps deter would-be thieves who may think twice, knowing that shop owners work with police to report retail thefts.

Police also worked with downtown businesses after a November smash and grab at an Apple store. In that instance, a car rammed into the store before it opened, and three suspects took an undisclosed amount of merchandise before fleeing the scene. The theft remains under investigation, and no arrests have been made.

But in the days after the break-in, police worked with downtown business owners and the city’s public works department to relocate several heavy planters to the front of the Apple store to help deter cars from crashing into the store. Planters were strategically placed in front of other downtown businesses as a way to prevent such thefts.

The crime statistics also show crimes against people, which include rape and assault, decreased by 8%. The city reported no murders in 2023 and saw decreases in rape and assault cases. Reports of intimidation increased from 181 incidents in 2022 to 355 cases in 2023.

“We’re not crime-free, but we’re still a very safe city,” Arres said, noting the police and engaged community members play a key role in crime prevention.

The 2023 crime statistics report can be found on the city of Naperville’s website, and click on the police department tab.

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