Crime: Stick-'Em-Ups Head Down

The figures that the Justice Department plans to announce this week seemed so surprising that even its own statisticians were skeptical. According to the latest National Crime Survey, the number of personal robberies (muggings and holdups) fell by 18% last year. Checks and rechecks of the figures collected from interviewing 128,000 people in 86,179 households indicated no error.

The survey, an annual Justice Department poll to determine the number of victims of crimes, supplements FBI statistics on crimes that have been reported by law-enforcement agencies. The latest survey showed that property crime, which includes burglary, household larceny and auto theft, dropped...

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