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Robbery Cases in Gainesville, FL Rose Rapidly in 2020

Courtesy of The Center Square

BY SAMUEL STEBBINS

Driven by a surge in homicides and an increase in cases of aggravated assault, the U.S. violent crime rate rose in 2020, according to data from the FBI. One bright spot in the latest data, however, was a year-over-year decline in reported robberies.

Robbery is a crime in which force or the threat of force or violence is used to take, or attempt to take, anything of value from another person. The largest share of robberies in the United States are committed on streets or sidewalks. Handguns are the most commonly used weapon in robberies, and more often than not, among the cases where a suspect can be identified, the offender and victim are strangers to one another.

In the continuation of a multi-decade trend, the number of robberies committed in the U.S. fell from about 268,500 in 2019 to 243,600 in 2020, a 9% drop.

While cases of robbery are falling in much of the country, there are some exceptions. For example, in the Gainesville metropolitan area, located in Florida, the total number of reported robberies climbed by 20% – from 297 in 2019 to 356 in 2020. The resulting increase in the area’s population-adjusted robbery rate was one of the largest of any U.S. metro areas.

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The reported robbery rate in Gainesville rose by 17.5 incidents for every 100,000 people from 2019 to 2020. Due in part to the increase, the metro area’s robbery rate of 107.6 reported incidents per 100,000 people is higher than the nationwide rate of 73.9 robberies per 100,000 people.

All crime data used in this story is from the FBI’s 2019 and 2020 Uniform Crime Reports. We considered all U.S. metropolitan areas for which the boundaries defined by the FBI match the boundaries as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau.

RankMetro area1-yr. increase in robbery rate (robberies per 100k people)Robberies per 100k people, 2020Total robberies in 2020Total robberies in 2019
1Rapid City, SD30.979.911569
2Danville, IL18.9116.48774
3Gainesville, FL17.5107.6356297
4Boulder, CO17.542.714083
5Merced, CA17.490.9252202
6Charleston-North Charleston, SC17.479.8654502
7Dubuque, IA17.326.7269
8Alexandria, LA17.1125.6190165
9Ithaca, NY15.934.53519
10Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL15.771.2269211
11Owensboro, KY14.042.65134
12Billings, MT14.072.4133106
13Sioux Falls, SD13.539.910971
14Decatur, IL13.281.88471
15Sioux City, IA-NE-SD12.154.77961
16Greeley, CO11.540.413493
17Grants Pass, OR11.438.83424
18Bowling Green, KY11.145.78362
19Cleveland, TN10.656.37157
20Raleigh-Cary, NC9.947.3673521
21Enid, OK9.724.6159
22Yakima, WA9.365.8165142
23Eau Claire, WI9.324.74226
24Cedar Rapids, IA9.342.311690
25Bend, OR9.024.85031
26Great Falls, MT8.634.32821
27Lawton, OK7.584.210696
28Madera, CA7.367.110594
29Yuba City, CA7.279.5139126
30Idaho Falls, ID6.916.22514
31Kennewick-Richland, WA6.843.8133111
32Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL6.577.9395355
33Pittsfield, MA6.042.95346
34Yuma, AZ5.824.95441
35Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown, TX5.562.41,4241,261
36Santa Rosa-Petaluma, CA5.454.2266243
37Albany-Lebanon, OR5.023.73124
38Wausau-Weston, WI4.912.32012
39Hartford-East Hartford-Middletown, CT4.960.5614565
40Sierra Vista-Douglas, AZ4.826.23327
41Bellingham, WA4.638.89078
42Wilmington, NC4.461.5186171
43Tyler, TX4.240.19483
44Norwich-New London, CT4.238.06659
45Kingston, NY4.116.52922
46Charlottesville, VA4.021.34738
47Missoula, MT3.927.33328
48Saginaw, MI3.849.29386
49Grand Junction, CO3.736.35650
50Janesville-Beloit, WI3.645.97569
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