Austin's violent crime rate increases while property crimes fall to a 20-year low

APD's crime report for 2017 has been released, showing violent crime is up while property crime is down. (Photo: CBS Austin)

The Austin Police Department's crime report for 2017 has been released.

Property crime in Austin is down and at a 20-year low, according to Austin Police Chief Brian Manley’s Preliminary 2017 Annual Crime Report. It dropped by nearly 10 percent from 2016 to 2017.

That’s a big relief for Kelsey Harmon, who lives on Mearns Meadow Blvd. in North Austin.

"We're probably a little more cautious than others when it comes to locking doors,” she said. "Living in a zip code with the highest crime rate, I'm definitely excited to hear that it's going down for sure."

In December 2016, a man broken into her home through a garage door in her back yard and claimed he was the “neighborhood watch,” alerting them to someone in her yard, but the man was actually a burglary suspect linked to number of break-ins in South Austin.

Harmon was able to help police track him down and gave them surveillance footage linking him to the crime.

"I think it was more of luck than anything,” she said. “He happened to be home. He entered through the backyard, and I don't think he thought anybody was home," she said.

Since that incident, Harmon said she’s noticed fewer property crimes.

She says more neighbors are putting up cameras and communicating better through social media like NextDoor, and she feels it’s making the neighborhood feel safer.

"The community's coming together to make that change, so definitely makes me feel good," she said.

Read the full report below:

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