Crime in the Charlotte area fell nearly 26 percent in the first quarter of 2009, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department reported Tuesday.

Property crime was down 25 percent, while violent crime was down 31.3 percent. Nine homicides were reported in the first three months of this year, compared with 20 in the same period last year — a 55 percent decrease.

Among the first-quarter statistics:
–Robberies, down 29.3 percent
— Rape, down 4.3 percent.
–Aggravated assault, down 34.2 percent
— Residential burglary, down 27 percent
–Commercial burglary, down 28.3 percent
–Vehicle theft, down 31 percent
–Larceny, down 23.1 percent
–Arson, down, 24.4 percent

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