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    FBI Crime Report: Robberies Declining

    Greatest decrease among robbery locations occurred at gasoline and service stations, which dropped 7.4 percent.

    WASHINGTON -- According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), statistics complied during 2003-2004 suggest that the estimated volume of violent crime and property crime has decreased, a National Association of Convenience Store article reports.

    "Crime in the United States" is the FBI’s statistical compilation of reports submitted by law enforcement agencies and represents 17,000 city, county, state, tribal and federal law enforcement agencies -- or roughly 94.2 percent of the U.S. population -- who voluntarily participated in the survey. The survey is a component of the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program.

    According to the FBI, "Marking the third straight year of a decline in the number of robberies nationwide, the 2004 estimate of 401,326 offenses reflected a 3.1 percent decline from the 2003 estimate." Additionally, the FBI reports the nation's robbery rate during 2004 was 136.7 robberies per 100,000 inhabitants, which represents a decrease of 4.1 percent compared to the 2003 rate.

    The FBI reports that robberies cost victims an estimated $525 million and the average loss per robbery was $1,308. Banks were among the highest in average dollars lost at $4,221. Gasoline and service stations lost an average of $1,749 and convenience stores lost an average of $653 per robbery.

    Additionally, the greatest decrease among robbery location types occurred at gasoline and service stations, which dropped 7.4 percent.

    By location type, reports the FBI, the greatest proportion of robberies (42.8 percent) in 2004 occurred on streets and highways. Convenience stores were the site of 6.1 percent of robberies, followed by gasoline or service stations at 2.7 percent.

    According to the FBI’s crime fact sheet, the following apply to robbery-related crimes:

    • Of an estimated 401,326 offenses, 2004 represents a 3.1 percent decrease from the 2003 estimate.

    • 136.7 robberies occurred per 100,000 inhabitants, a decrease of 4.1 percent from the 2003 rate.

    • Weapons: 41.1 percent were strong-arm, 40.6 firearms, 8.9 percent knives or cutting instruments and 9.4 percent were other types of weapons.

    • Monetary loss: an estimated $525 million, averaging $1,308 per offense.

    • Location: greatest proportion (42.8 percent) took place on streets and highways and the smallest percentage (2.4 percent) occurred in banks.

    • Clearances: 26.2 percent of reported robberies were cleared by arrest or exceptional means.

    • Arrests: increased 0.6 percent when compared to the 2003 number.

    • Arrestees: 60.1 percent under the age of 25; 89.0 percent were male; 53.6 percent were black.

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