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Published May 10, 2013, 09:32 PM

A new crime analyst determines the "hot spots" for crime in our area

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- Specific crimes often cluster in a certain areas. That's certainly true in Fargo. And a new crime analyst is determining where these "hot spots" are happening.

By: Becky Parker, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- Specific crimes often cluster in a certain areas.

That's certainly true in Fargo. And a new crime analyst is determining where these "hot spots" are happening.

The process can help police find new leads by connecting the patterns.

Crimes of a feather flock together, but determining those patterns can be complex.

That's where Fargo Police Department crime analyst Levi Giraud comes in.

Giraud: "There are lots of different definitions of crime hotspots, and different techniques in determining what is a hotspot."

The biggest so-called "hotspot" for overall crime in Fargo might be surprising. It is one of the busiest areas in town, along 13th Avenue South.

That's because it's the most common crime in Fargo is theft and people in our area sometimes make it easier by leaving cars unlocked in this retail-heavy area.

Sue Braaten/Casselton Resident: "Unless it has never happened to them, they probably aren't aware of how serious it can be."

Lindsay: "I keep my car locked, I keep my keys on me."

Other hotspots are more specific.

For instance, though burglary is pretty even across the map, Giraud has documented a cluster of garage burglaries in South Fargo, in what they call "district 2."

Giraud: "Are the burglaries distributed according to what we would expect, or are they more in a certain area?"

The reasons behind these clusters vary, it could be one person who frequently commits a certain crime, or it could be an impoverished area.

And bars are often hotspots for assaults. Finding those patterns can help police solve crimes they might not otherwise link together.

Giraud: "I can kind of help try and connect the dots of cases that might be related just to generate more leads."

Hotspots are not always necessarily clustered in one area, police are also looking at a pattern of vandalism along the length of 10th street and University that could be connected.

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