Captain’s View

Another look at local crime rates

Recently I have been writing about the fact that the crime rate is creeping up. Yes, street robbers are taking iPhones and yes, when you leave your high-end laptop or your purse in your car, a suspect is going to break in and steal it. That said, it is worth comparing our year-to-date crime statistics.

In 2010 and 2011, numbers were down across the board. Whether it is the fact that there are more criminals on the streets, fewer cops on the streets, an improving economy (meaning more people are out with more stuff), or other factors, crime is up this year.

So far, we have measured the following in Part 1 crimes for 2012:

  • homicide is down 80%
  • rape is down 40%
  • arson is down 14%
  • burglary theft from vehicles is down 7%
  • felony assault is up 12%
  • robbery is up 24%
  • burglary is up 35%
  • auto theft is up 39%
  • other theft is up 7%

Overall, Part 1 crimes are up 10 percent year-to-date. On a brighter note, robbery arrests are up 16 percent, felony assault arrests are up 20 percent, and burglary arrests are up 44 percent.

So as always, I ask you to help us bring the increased numbers down again by maintaining situational awareness when out on the street (including on Muni) with your iPhone. Lock doors and windows to your house and ensure the common garage door to your apartment building is secure. Place an after-market anti-theft device on your older, Japanese-model cars. Always call the police if you see or hear anything suspicious. And please educate others – feel free to forward this information to friends and family.


Be aware of your surroundings (situational awareness). Many cell phone robbery victims are busy staring at their screens and not paying attention to who is around them.

Conceal your valuables. If they can’t see it, they won’t try to grab it.

Do not leave anything in your car that will temp a thief. I have seen reports where cars were broken into for a small amount of loose change on the dashboard.

Watch and learn. Northern Station has produced several public service announcement videos on these crime prevention tips that are worth watching:

PSA 2: Crime prevention tips with focus on car break-ins

PSA 3: Crime prevention tips with a focus on street robberies

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