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Detroit chief credits improved police work, armed citizens for drop in some crime this year


DETROIT — Detroit Police Chief James Craig credits improved police work and criminals reluctant to prey on citizens who may be carrying guns for the drop in some crime this year.

The city has seen 37 percent fewer robberies in 2014 than during the same period last year, 22 percent fewer break-ins of businesses and homes, and 30 percent fewer carjackings, The Detroit News reported ( ) on Wednesday.

"Criminals are getting the message that good Detroiters are armed and will use that weapon," said Craig, who has repeatedly said he believes deter crime. "I don't want to take away from the good work our investigators are doing, but I think part of the drop in crime, and robberies in particular, is because criminals are thinking twice that citizens could be armed."

In Michigan, it is legal to carry a licensed weapon in the open; gun owners also may apply to legally carry a concealed weapon in many places.

Earlier this year, Detroit saw a number of cases where people opened fire to defend their homes. And the newspaper's report comes after a Detroit TV news crew took cover and called police Monday after an 88-year-old robbery victim they were trying to interview fired a shot at them.

No one was injured in that shooting. The man was taken away by police in handcuffs, and is undergoing a psychological evaluation, Assistant Chief Steve Dolunt said. Prosecutors are expected to review whether there are charges.

"I think he was traumatized; he got beat up pretty good," Dolunt said of the initial robbery.

Information from: The Detroit News,

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