Friday, May 21, 2010

Lehigh Acres crime statistics, is it that bad?

Back in August of 2007, I posted a concern about criminal activity in Lehigh Acres. Lehigh Acres is part of Lee County and an area right outside my hometown of Fort Myers. With a population of 49,000 (est 2009), I was shocked with the amount of violent crime being reported daily on the news.

May 2010 - fast forward

So has things improved since I first highlighted Lehigh Acres as an area of concern in my county? According to the News-Press and other sources, violent crime continues to make the headlines in Lehigh Acres. A quick glance of the news in the area clearly showed there's still lingering problems with violent crime.

Here's a quick scan for just May alone:

May 21, 2010: Manual Rosales arrested for attempting to kill a 20 year old and her 3 month old son. Both victims remain in critical condition.

May 21, 2010: A 15-year old boy was found dead with a gunshot wound to the face. His mother found him.

May 12, 2010: A homicide investigation on 21st Street SW, near Susan Avenue. The neighbor, Eddie Maurice said, he heard gunshots, but he didn't think anything of it because he hears gunshots all the time. That's a bad indication of a bad town. The victim was Maria DeLourdes Bauza, age 48, which police said the victim's body was tied to the undercarriage of the suspect's car and she was dragged from her home to a lot across the street. The suspect, 58-year-old Zacarias Jaime Izquierdo, has been arrested.

May 6, 2010: A 15 year old student, David Rodriguez of 4300 West 13 St attempted to enter his former local high school (Lehigh Senior High School) with a concealed weapon: a semi-automatic handgun. He tried to bypass normal entrances. This could have been a very, very bad day. Kudos to the security guard that reported this problem to a deputy.

Crime Statistics

It's difficult to find crime statistics of Lehigh Acres because it's not technically a town or a city but rather a census designated place. The crime statistics tend to be skewed as it gets added to the base population of the metro Fort Myers area or Lee County.

Thankfully there are a couple of data sources that reveal neighborhood specific crime rates. One of which is Sperling's Best Places crime index and CL Research's crime index.

Sperling Best Places Crime Index

The ratings below are scored from 1 to 10, with 1 being the lowest crime rate. It also shows a comparison to U.S. national averages.

The result unfortunately shows that Lehigh Acres is double the crime rate compared to the national average in terms of property and violent crimes.

CLRSearch Crime Index

Not wanting to rely on one source for statistics, I looked at a 2009 crime index by Onboard Informatics / CLRSearch. The data shows that if you live in Lehigh Acres, you have a 10% higher risk in being a victim of personal crime vs. the national average, or a 4% higher risk in murder vs the national average, and an astounding 41% higher risk in being a rape victim vs. the national average.


No matter what I look at, whether the current news trends or the latest criminal statistics from commercial sources, there's one thing that they are all indicating: Lehigh Acres has a huge crime problem.

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