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Crime Numbers Down, but Residents not Encouraged | Crime

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Crime Numbers Down, but Residents not Encouraged

LAS VEGAS -- Is Las Vegas safer? A new FBI report says yes. But ask people out in the community and they say no.

The report, rating everything from murder and rape to property crime, was compiled by law enforcement agencies around the country with information submitted for 2009. But it's 2010, a time where our economy is tough and people are getting desperate. Police say the crime numbers paint a picture of the past and they expect incidents to actually go up.

John Perdichizzi has a problem with crime. He captured it on his security cameras and believes it's happening a lot more often. He blames the economy. The latest figures show crime is down across the board. But Perdichizzi says the report tells an incomplete story.

"Those are the reported crimes. Maybe they should be more specific and say reported crimes have gone down because I think a lot of them aren't reported," he said.

As the economy plummets, people are taking more precautions, turning to technology to keep their families safe.

"They want alarm systems, they want surveillance systems, they want to know who's coming up to their door at 8 o'clock at night. They want pictures, they want to see what's going on when they're at work," said Richard Saperstein with Digital Guardian Surveillance & Security.

Saperstein has seen their quotes increase about 30-percent. People are spending up to $14,000 to secure their homes.

"They're cowardly. They don't want to get caught so they're staying away," said homeowner John Clark.

Plagued with graffiti and trespassers, Clark put in eight cameras around his property to catch the criminals, and it's worked.

"Any noise you might hear, first thing you do is look at your monitors, see what's going on," he said.

Police say a bad economy and budget cuts creates a perfect storm for crime rates to only climb. In North Las Vegas, it will take strategy and a lot of stretching of its resources to combat that.

"Our goal is to keep the crime rate from going up. Our fear is that will become harder," said North Las Vegas police Sgt. Tim Bedwell.

The 2009 figures show the valley saw a decline in crimes across the board, with the exception of robberies. There were about 200 more than the previous year.