Reported crime in Evanston soared in January, increasing 76 percent from the same month last year.

Police reports show burglaries rose from 93 to 160, incidents of battery increased from none to 6, auto thefts were up from 6 to 11 and robberies increased slightly, from 5 to 6.

Unusually warm weather may in part be to blame for the rise in crime. Temperatures this January were nearly 14 degrees above normal.

The warmer temperatures got the credit for increased retail sales and housing starts nationwide, and may have had criminals heading out to conduct business more often as well.

But while crime rose last month in Chicago, the increase there, 13 percent, was much less than that seen in Evanston.

Evanston’s crime rate is expected to be on the agenda Monday night when the City Council’s Human Services Committee meets to review the police department’s annual report and consider complaints by citizens against the department.

Evanston Police Chief Frank Kaminski, who spent much of this week interviewing for the job of police chief in Rockford, is expected to be at the council committee meeting.

Reported crime last year in Evanston declined, continuing a downward trend over the past several years.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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