By Ray King

Increases in property crimes last month, primarily commercial burglaries and thefts fueled a nearly 14 percent increase in overall crime, compared to a year ago.

According to the police department monthly report, there were 433 crimes reported in May, compared to 380 in May 2020, or a 13.95 percent increase.

Reported thefts jumped from 116 in May 2020 to 162 last month while the number of commercial burglaries nearly doubled, going from 12 to 22.

Residential burglaries declined from 22 in May 2020 to 16 last month while motor vehicle thefts increased from 19 to 35.

In the crimes against person category, simple assaults increased from 127 in May 2020 to 138 last month while reported aggravated assaults jumped by one from 54 to 55.

Six robberies were reported last month, three fewer than the nine reported in May 2020. Rapes and attempted rapes totaled nine last month, three more than the six in May 2020.

Through May 31, eight homicides had been reported in Pine Bluff, that is four less than the first five months of 2020 when 12 homicides were reported. Since June 1, three more homicides have been reported in the city.