Is Stockton seeing a large increase in arson cases?

Stockton police sent out a tweet on the latest crime statistics Tuesday on social media.

The numbers pointed to a massive jump in the number of arson cases in Stockton.

70 arson cases reported this year compared to just 42 this time last year. That's a whopping 66 percent increase.

One of those cases being looked at is a fire that happened at the historic Western Pacific Passenger Depot near downtown.

It burned last month. The Stockton Fire Department says it was started by vagrants, but it's not clear if it's truly arson.

When we contacted Stockton Fire Chief Erik Newman, it turns out those numbers tweeted were inaccurate.

He says fire investigators call out police on each fire to take pictures and the calls are logged by police as arson, even though they may not be.

The chief says he will try to get us more accurate arson numbers Thursday.

Meantime, another stat tweeted out by Stockton police that is accurate is the number of car thefts on the rise.

There were 833 last year, there are 1071 so far this year, a 28 percent jump over a year ago.

© 2017 KXTV-TV


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