- Associated Press - Friday, January 6, 2017

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Las Vegas police say the 166 homicide cases they handled in 2016 far outpaced 2015, and came in just under a 25-year high set 20 years ago.

The previous high was 167 in 1996, and the department handled 139 homicides in 2015.

Lt. Dan McGrath said Friday his homicide unit solved more than three-fourths of last year’s cases. That compares with a national clearance rate of 61.5 percent in 2015.

Officer Danny Cordero notes that Las Vegas police also investigated two homicides for other jurisdictions.

April was particularly violent, fueling concerns about a crime spike after more than 20 slayings including five in one weekend.

Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo has attributed the numbers to gang activity, department staffing levels and jail release policies both locally and in neighboring California.

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