Report shows violent crimes increase in Harlingen

Leo Garza owner of Jackson Street Antiques said people these days are living on the edge.

He wasn't surprised to learn that a crime report recently published by the Harlingen Police Department shows that property and violent crimes rose in 2010.

"Both of them speak to a frustration on the part of the general population, Garza said. Under employment, unemployment, gas prices going up - people are living on the edge emotionally and economically."

Violent crimes, which police describe as a crime that involves confrontation between the perpetrator and victim, went up by 30 percent in 2010.

The bulk of that, was made-up by 270 reports of aggravated assault, which ranges from everything from shootings to stabbings to assaults using household objects.

"Some people handle it better, so when you have a feeling of frustration or loss of hope, then the actions are going to speak for themselves," Garza said.

Maria Vasquez has lived in Harlingen her entire life and said they city is just not the same.

"It was way different - not like now," Vasquez said.

The downtown resident was hesitant to describe the type of crime she sees in her neighborhood for fear of retaliation, but said Harlingen is safer than other cities in the Rio Grande Valley.

"Well I think this is safer than others from what I've heard on the news," Vasquez said.

Garza said he TMs aware that crime exists everywhere, but he would like to see more efforts to decrease property crimes - there were nearly 4,500 in 2010.

"We love Jackson Street - I TMve had some issues with broken windows and so forth - but that's part of the business, Garza said.So I TMm not discouraged. "

Click here to download a PDF copy of the crime report