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Most serious crimes in Hayward down

A police department progress report given to the Hayward City Council on Tuesday included the latest crime statistics, comparing January through September of 2009 with the same nine months of 2008.

HaywardPDThe good news is that most serious crimes are down. Rape, by 57 percent; arson, 25 percent; robbery, 17 percent; major assault, 13 percent; burglary and grand theft, 2 percent.

Unfortunately, the big-ticket crime of murder was up 17 percent, with seven occurring this year as opposed to six during that time frame last year.

However, updating those stats to Dec. 2, the city would be even with last year. October 2008 had a liquor store stabbing death near Tennyson Road and a fatal shooting at the Hayward BART station.

Last week’s horrific slaying in the upper B Street neighborhood brought this year’s count up to eight as well.

That’s a pretty standard number. 2007 had 10 homicides, while 2006 was low with four. The three preceding years had nine each.

The other crime that was up was auto theft, with a 5 percent increase.

Overall, Police Chief Ron Ace said the figures are positive.

“It’s a good sign, obviously, especially during this time of economic recession,” he said. “We are doing a good job of keeping a lid on things.”

Here’s part two of the HPD progress report.

In another recently issued report, Congressional Quarterly ranked Hayward as 126 out of 393 cities with populations of 75,000 or more in terms of crime rate. The lower the number, the more crime¬† — Oakland came it at No. 3, Richmond at 14. San Leandro fared worse than Hayward at 113, while Fremont did considerably better at 304.

Eric Kurhi