Fewer than a third of crime victims in Minnesota report the incidents to law enforcement, according to a state survey released Thursday.
Bank or credit card fraud is the most common form of property crime in the state, with one in five adults being victimized, but it gets reported to authorities only 10 percent of the time, according to the Department of Public Safety Office of Justice Programs’ seventh Crime Victimization Survey covering 2016.
For all crimes in Minnesota, 37 percent of those surveyed were victimized in the past year, with property offenses being more common than crimes against people.
Bank or credit card fraud crimes are more likely to be reported only to the card providers and not to law enforcement, said Suzanne Elwell, crime victim justice unit director for the state Department of Public Safety.
“With credit card fraud, you have some protections, with only a liability up to $50,” and that minimal consequence leaves victims more willing to skip contacting law enforcement, Elwell said.
Despite losses sometimes being a handful of dollars, state authorities said there are reasons to tally even the most modest of offenses.
“We need to find ways to encourage crime victims to come forward so they can be informed of crime victim services, and we need to hold the perpetrators accountable for their actions,” said Raeone Magnuson, executive director of the Office of Justice Programs.
Although less common than property crimes, offenses against people were reported to police 67 percent of the time.
• Of property crimes, bank account fraud (stolen credit card or accessed bank account) was the most common (17.7 percent). That figure has more than tripled since 2007.
• Stalking (9.6 percent) was the most common crime against a person.
• Assaults have dropped dramatically since 2001, from 2.2 to 0.5 percent.
• Sexual assault without penetration has more than doubled since 2010, but only 10 percent of victims reported it to police.