Byline: Steve Warmbir Daily Herald Legal Affairs Writer
Both violent crime and property crime were down in Cook County for the first three months this year, but McHenry County experienced sharp increases in both.
The Illinois state police released figures Monday for the first quarter of 1999, which showed another decrease in crime statewide compared to the same time period last year.
Serious violent and property crimes were down across the board statewide.
But county by county, the story on crime varied.
In Cook, for instance, the number of reported violent crimes were down 15.8 percent, while property crimes were down 13.6 percent.
A spokesman for Cook County Sheriff Michael Sheahan pointed to three factors to help explain the drop in crime countywide.
A good economy contributes to lower crime, more people in Cook County are locked up than ever before and more police are on the streets, working more aggressively, spokesman Bill Cunningham said.
In McHenry County, the numbers told a different story. Reported violent crime mushroomed 62.3 percent, while property crime increased 22.3 percent for the first quarter.
Criminologists and police, though, warn that …