How Does Scranton Crime Compare to Pennsylvania?

June 8, 2021

How Does Scranton Crime Compare to Pennsylvania?

Does Scranton have a higher crime rate than most cities? Scranton crime actually rates higher than the state of Pennsylvania on average for violent crime, but not property crime. This has led to Scranton crime being the outlier that raises Pennsylvania crime rates when compared to other states.

Crimes are broken down into two types: property crimes and violent crimes. This is how the FBI records and reports crime across the country. You can find the direct statistics here.

There are three main property crimes: larceny, burglary, and motor vehicle theft; and there are four main violent crimes: aggravated assault, robbery, sexual assault, and murder.

Low Property Crimes

As reported by the National Institute of Justice, property crimes are where “a victim’s property is stolen or destroyed, without the use or threat of force against the victim.” Know that the moment there’s the threat of violence, it’s no longer a property crime. When it comes to property crimes, Scranton rates are lower than the state average, and the national average as well. Property crimes are not to be confused with theft crimes. There is a lot of crossover, but they do not cover all of the same crimes.


Also, sometimes referred to as theft, larceny is specifically when property is taken without permission. This occurs when you’re welcome in a location, but take something you do not have permission to take. The more the stolen property is worth, the higher fine and prison time. If you steal something worth more than $2,000, you’ll see your charge upgraded from a misdemeanor charge to a felony.

  • Larceny is reportedly the most common type of property crime.
  • 1,026 larcenies were reported in Scranton in 2019.
  • There is a rate of 1,327 larcenies in Scranton for every 100,000 people.
  • It is lower than the national rate of 1,550 per 100,000 people.


Someone doesn’t actually have to steal anything to have committed burglary. This is simply entering someone’s property unlawfully with an intent to steal something. Whether or not you actually steal something, it’s considered burglary the moment you enter. The only way the charge changes is if you threaten another person with violence. This would turn it into a violent crime or robbery.

  • 239 burglaries were reported in Scranton in 2019.
  • There is a rate of 309 burglaries in Scranton for every 100,000 people.
  • It is lower than the national rate of 341 per 100,000 people.

Motor Vehicle Theft

This is when someone steals a motor vehicle. Whether you break into a motor vehicle by stealing the keys or damaging the vehicle’s security, the charge is the same as long as no one was physically threatened or harmed.

  • Scranton crime rates are impressively low for motor vehicle theft.
  • 82 motor vehicle thefts were reported in Scranton in 2019.
  • There is a rate of 106 motor vehicle thefts in Scranton for every 100,000 people.
  • It is less than half the national number of 220 per 100,000 people.

High Violent Crime

Violent crime is sadly where Scranton ranks incredibly high. These offenses reportedly account for “a relatively small share of crimes nationwide,” but not in Scranton. Violent crime accounts for 47% of all reported Scranton crimes. With 1,199 reported violent crimes in Scranton, 1,551 for every 100,000, violent crime is startlingly high. For comparison, the national rate is 379 violent offenses per 100,000.


Assault is to commit bodily harm to someone. There are technically two types of assault, differentiated by how severe the bodily harm is. Simple assault is minor bodily harm and aggravated assault is for serious bodily harm. Then there is the separation between misdemeanor charges, felony charges, and their different degrees.

  • Scranton assault crime rates are far above the national average.
  • 1,088 assaults were reported in Scranton in 2019.
  • There is a rate of 1,407 assaults in Scranton for every 100,000 people.
  • It is more than quadruple the national number of 250 per 100,000 people.


Robbery is not a property crime but a violent crime because it is theft with the threat of a weapon. This important differentiation separates it from property crime. Robbery could have been any property crime if not for the use of a weapon to threaten to cause harm. This is likely why robbery has become the second most violent crime nationwide.

  • 66 robberies were reported in Scranton in 2019.
  • There is a rate of 85 robberies per every 100,000 people.
  • It is barely above the nationwide rate of 82 per 100,000 people.

Sexual Assault

Forcing sexual acts upon someone is one of the highest crimes, also known as rape, and is one of the lowest reported crimes in Scranton. It is common for them to go unreported, so it’s difficult to report statements accurate to the real-life situation.

  • 45 sexual assaults were reported in Scranton in 2019.
  • There is a rate of 58 sexual assaults per every 100,000 people.
  • This is a bit more than the nationwide rate of 43 per 100,000 people.


Murder is purposely taking someone’s life. This does not include manslaughter. Manslaughter has to do with killing someone without the prior intention to, and can include killing someone in the heat of passion and accidents. Murder is always an intentional kill, with varying degrees based on how planned it was.

None of the country’s 16,425 murders in 2019 were reported in Scranton.

Scranton Crime is Skewed

If you find yourself facing criminal charges for property or violent crimes, contact Mazzoni Karam Petorak & Valvano. We’ve earned our reputation through Northeastern Pennsylvania for our careful investigation of cases.

Whether it’s about reviewing the initial arrest or interviewing witnesses, we work tirelessly on each and every case to protect your rights.

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