crime in Rita Ranch

By Trent Thomas

Rita Ranch Crime

When Bob and Kathy moved to Arizona in 2004, they chose to live in Vail. “We were looking for a place to retire. We wanted to escape the hustle and bustle and look forward to the anticipation of having minimal crime as compared to a city,” added Bob.

One day in June 2013, Bob and Kathy drove to Tucson to shop. Meanwhile, in Vail, a small truck pulled up to their house. A couple of men got out of the truck and calmly loaded up all of their new patio art, pots, and metal landscape decorations and then drove away. Over $400 of stuff was taken in less than a few minutes. Bob and Kathy were shocked. Their property was never recovered and the people were never caught.

Is crime a problem in our area? How frequently does this happen? How does our area compare to similarly sized towns?

It’s difficult to find similarly sized towns when adding variables such as median home value, household income, population and density, proximity to large cities, etc. However, I decided to compare Vail/Corona with Sahuarita, Marana, Benson, Oro Valley, and Tucson. (Unfortunately, I could not extract the Rita Ranch data from Tucson, so I omitted the area.)

For this report, I found that was a helpful tool that drew from FBI crime data reports to make this analysis. 2013 is the most current year available for obtaining raw crime data. SecurityGauge claims they use mathematical algorithms to statistically analyze and classify crimes for the entire U.S. with a 90% accuracy.

The research tools have multiple subdivisions of data within each city/town, with varying home values, density and populations. To better promote a fair comparison, I simply used the most average sector within each area.

Fortunately, violent crime is quite low outside of Tucson. Note that these figures are based on an annual rate of per 1,000 people. Benson had the highest rate outside of Tucson. Oro Valley had the lowest rate of violent crimes. The national average is 3.8 incidents per 1,000 people.

Property crimes for Vail/Corona are just over 11 incidents per 1,000 residents. According to the, Benson had the highest rate outside of Tucson. Oro Valley again scored the lowest in this category. The national average is 27.3 incidents per 1,000 people.

According to Ronald Davis, director of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) and former police chief of the East Palo Alto Police Department, “The greatest deterrent to crime and violence is not a community saturated with cops — it is a neighborhood alive with residents. The concept is that a healthy community would be, in fact, a safe community.”

“Whoever controls a neighborhood’s public spaces controls the quality of life in that neighborhood,” he added. “That control must rest with the residents.”

Deputy Tracy Suitt works for the Pima County Sheriff and agreed with the above quote. “That is true in communities like Vail and Corona de Tucson. The residents are active and take pride in their neighborhood.”

“They [residents] attend community functions such as Vail Pride Day; they are out walking, jogging and biking in the neighborhood. This sets an example for their children who learn to respect the community they live in as well,” Deputy Suitt added.

Incidents that Bob and Kathy experienced are surprising, but fortunately they are rare in our neighborhoods. Without a doubt, residents in all of the listed areas will continue to work to make their corners of the world a little safer for themselves and neighbors.

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