A new study identified the most frequently reported crimes in the state of Texas.
Conducted by criminal defense law firm Jorge Vela Law, the study examined the most recent data from the United States Bureau of Justice to determine which offenses had the greatest recorded incidence rates in Texas throughout 2021.
The most commonly reported crime in the Lone Star State was found to be simple assault, which accounted for 244,026 incidents. Jorge Vela Law defines simple assault as "an unlawful physical attack by one person upon another where the offender does not display a weapon, and the victim does not suffer obvious severe injuries."
With 165,525 reported incidents, the second highest crime in Texas was destruction, damage, and vandalism to property.
Vandalism is the "purposeful destruction or defacing of someone else’s physical property in a way that reduces the property’s value", and while the act involves destroying one's property, it is not usually viewed to be the same crime as damage or destruction of property, according to Jorge Vela Law.
Coming in third place was larceny, which accounted for 165,399 reported crimes. The law firm says that larceny is a specific type of theft where "material personal property or items that can be possessed and carried away."
The fourth most common criminal act in Texas was theft from motor vehicles, with 139,205 incidents reported. The offense involves "the unlawful removal of property belonging to someone else from a motor vehicle, whether locked or unlocked," Jorge Vela Law says.
Finally, the fifth most commonly reported crime in Texas was drugs and narcotics violations, 131,662 incidents recorded.
According to Jorge Vela Law, drug and narcotic violations are "crimes involving the use, possession, distribution, trafficking and manufacture/cultivation of controlled drugs," and charges can change depending on numerous factors, such as the type of drug, where the crime took place, among others.
Jorge Vela, the person who carried out the research for the most reported crimes in Texas — along with the rest of the U.S. states — said that the data is helpful for safety reasons.
“This data provides a fascinating insight into crime in the U.S.," said Vela. "While incidents and charges may vary from state to state based on demographics and local laws, it is important to know which crimes are most prevalent in one’s area in order to know what security measures to take.”