BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — As KX’s Crime Tracker has shown, there are crimes of all sorts that take place across North Dakota and the rest of the nation — but just like anywhere else, some crimes are more common here than others.

In a study conducted by Jorge Vela Law, the group analyzed the latest statistics available from the US Bureau of Justice’s Crime Data Explorer in order to reveal which crimes were reported the most often in each state. When North Dakota’s reports from 2021 were analyzed in the study, the following crimes were observed to be those that came to law enforcement’s attention most often.

RankCrime2021 Reports in North Dakota
1Drugs and Narcotics Violations6,531
2Simple Assault6,287
3Drug Equipment Violations6,273
4All Other Larceny6,118
5Destruction, Damage, and Vandalism of Property4,844

As the table shows, Drugs and Narcotics Violations were the most commonly-reported crimes in the state in 2021. This term is used to refer to criminal activities involving the use, possession, distribution, trafficking, manufacture, or cultivation of controlled drugs. These crimes are charged in different ways, often taking into account multiple factors (including the type and amount of drug in question, the age of the offender, and whether the crime was a first or repeat offense).

The second most commonly reported crime in ND in 2021 was Simple Assault, which is loosely described as an unlawful physical attack by one person on another. Unlike other assault charges, in Simple Assaults, the offender does not display a weapon, nor does the victim of the assault suffer obvious severe injuries. Simple Assaults which lead to minor injuries are typically charged as Class B Misdemeanors in North Dakota, which can result in a fine of up to $1,500, 30 days in jail, or both.

Drug Equipment Violations were the third most reported crime in ND in 2021, and relate to the possession, distribution, and importation of drug-related items, or any equipment related to the production, consumption, sale, or hiding of controlled drugs. Typically, Drug Equipment Violations are charged as Class C Felonies (resulting in up to five years in prison, a fine of $10,000, or both).

Other forms of Larceny, which ranked as the fourth most reported crime in 2021, refer to a specific kind of theft that involves material property, or items that can be taken and physically carried away. This is done in order to differentiate it from cases of identity or intellectual property theft. In the data, the Bureau of Justice categorized thefts from motor vehicles, buildings, or shops as a separate category — meaning that in this case, the term ‘All Other Larceny’ refers to the theft of material items not related to buildings or vehicles. In North Dakota, theft and larceny charges can be anywhere from a Class B Misdemeanor (punishable by 30 days in prison and a fine of up to $1500) to a Class A Felony (punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $20,000 fine) depending on the value of the stolen items.

Destruction, Damage, and Vandalism took the final place on the list, with the fifth most reported incidents in the state. Vandalism, in particular, refers to intentionally destroying or defacing someone else’s property in a way that removes its value — however, it is not always considered destruction of property. Depending on state laws, vandals can be charged with misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the damage and value of what was vandalized. In North Dakota, vandalism is a Class C Felony (up to five years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines) if done intentionally, or a Class A Misdemeanor (up to 360 days in prison and up to $3000 in fines) if it was done knowingly or recklessly.

“This data provides a fascinating insight into crime in the US,” comments Jorge Vela on the findings. “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.”