Maryland sees drop in violent crimes

BALTIMORE (AP) - Maryland officials say the state's drop in violent crime is mirroring a nationwide 6 percent drop in 2010 noted by the FBI.

The FBI marked the fourth year of declines in its annual crime statistics report on Monday. Maryland's 4.9 percent decline in property crime surpassed the nation's 2.7 percent drop. State officials credit a growth in technology and information sharing for the overall decline.

The data show Maryland's homicides dropped 3.2 percent and robberies and motor vehicle deaths fell about 8 percent in 2010. However, rapes increased 6.2 percent in Maryland, bucking the 5 percent drop nationwide in 2010.

Maryland's increase was due to a jump in Baltimore, where police changed the way rapes were classified after a city audit and Baltimore Sun report that showed misclassifications of rapes.