Robberies in downtown Boston increase despite dip in overall crime

boston police downtown crossing officer
Boston police in Downtown Crossing.
Credit: Nicolaus Czarnecki, Metro

Despite a downturn in overall crime and homicides in Boston last year, the number of reported robberies and attempted robberies in Boston’s downtown area rose by nearly 40 percent. 

Overall, violent crime in Boston dropped about 5 percent in 2013 compared to 2012, and homicides, which numbered 40, hit a 10-year low, according to Boston police and federal crime statistics. However, robberies and attempted robberies in the city’s downtown area went against the trend and rose by 40 percent.

In police district A-1, which includes much of downtown Boston from the North End to the Public Garden, robberies and attempted robberies increased from 184 in 2012 to 257 last year, according to police data.

What’s more, while the new year is only two weeks old, preliminary police data shows that the number of robberies and attempted robberies downtown is so far keeping pace with last year’s total. Through Jan. 12, there have been seven robberies in downtown Boston, the same total at that point last year.

One of those incidents include the robbery of a man leaving a Downtown Crossing electronics store on Sunday. The man told police he was followed by a man that was also inside the Winter Street store. Once outside the store, the robber pulled out a gun and took the victim’s money. A person matching a description of the robber was seen by state police walking through the Public Garden, was arrested and charged with armed robbery, police said.

While the most recent robbery took place in Downtown Crossing, the Business Improvement District, which works to transform a 34-block area of downtown Boston, said last year’s increase in robberies was primarily outside of that area.

Rosemarie Sansone, president of the BID, said the group’s ambassadors serve as a crime deterrent.

“The Downtown Boston BID’s ambassador program provides an essential service by providing another layer of eyes and ears to the Boston police,” Sansone said. “We are also working with the police in educating the public about their personal safety when carrying electronic devices, and making sure people do not leave these devices in their parked cars.”

Downtown Boston wasn’t the only area to experience an uptick in certain crimes last year.

In the police department’s D-4 district, which includes the Back Bay, South End and Kenmore neighborhoods, vehicle thefts and attempted car thefts increased by about 51 percent from 157 in 2012 to 238 last year.

In the police district that includes Roxbury, burglaries and attempted burglaries increased 14 percent from 439 in 2012 to 499 last year.

Citywide, nonfatal shootings also increased to 218 from 207 in 2012.

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.


Seven arrests made in $1.6 million StubHub cyberfraud…

Police have arrested seven people on charges they were tied to an international ring that defrauded eBay Inc's StubHub online ticketing service of some $1.6 million, the latest in a…


Giant ketchup bottle up for sale in southern…

By Mary WisniewskiCHICAGO (Reuters) - Want a giant historic order of fries with that?A water tower shaped like a 170-foot-tall ketchup bottle is for sale…


NYPD: Man denied money punches 65-year-old at Bronx…

A 65-year-old man was punched and shoved at a D train station in the Bronx last week when he denied another man money, police said.


New York Governor Cuomo's office intervened in corruption…

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's office meddled with a commission he created to root out corruption in state politics, pushing back whenever it focused on groups tied to Cuomo, the…


Portia de Rossi to appear on 'Scandal'

Portia de Rossi will be appearing in a few episodes of "Sandal" in a yet-to-be-revealed arc.


One Direction fans celebrate four years of Harry…

Whether you love them or hate them — or if you say that you hate them and secretly sing along to their songs alone in…


Jack White attends Cubs game, looks miserable

Jack White went to a Cubs game and got photographed looking really unhappy about it.


Wiz Khalifa brings Dem Boyz to town for…

It’s well into the third year of Wiz Khalifa’s hip-hop- and herb-themed Under the Influence of Music tour. Along with Khalifa, this year's lineup features Jeezy,…


Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running…

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running game a boost


3 storylines to watch as Jets open training…

Jets head coach Rex Ryan might be in for an even tougher job in 2014 after arguably his best coaching job last season.


David Tyree hiring has gay rights advocates angry

Former Giants Super Bowl hero David Tyree will re-join the franchise as its new director of player development.


Ben McAdoo's new offense has Giants excited to…

Even Tom Coughlin feels he has a lot to learn about offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s new offense, which makes the veteran coach very excited.


Marijuana lube is a real thing

Heighten your sexual experience by actually getting high. Foria, a cannabis-infused "sensual enhancement oil," is now on the market, kind of — residents of California…


How to dress like a socialite while sticking…

Nicky Hilton is releasing a new book about how to dress fabulously while sticking to a budget.


The best Back-To-School Backpacks

Get ready for back-to-school with these stylish kids' backpacks.


Elementary school students like their healthy school lunches…

When the federal government first rolled out its healthier school meal guidelines in 2012, elementary schoolers weren't happy. Much was written about how America's youngest…