Pasadena’s Reported Crime Rate Drops 15%

Rape, burglary numbers drop, while assaults rise dramatically

Published : Tuesday, May 24, 2016 | 5:27 AM

Pasadena Police released the above chart comparing reported crime in the same 4-month period at the beginning of each of the past four years.

Despite an increase in gun violence since late 2015, the reported crimes rate for Pasadena has dropped 15% so far this year, according to a report just issued by the Pasadena Police Department.

According to the Pasadena Police Department Monthly Statistical Report, there were 1,376 crimes reported to the police through the month of April of this year. This compares with 1,618 crimes reported over the same time period last year.

Although the report documents sharp declines in many crime categories, assaults with a deadly weapon rose steeply and actually doubled in April this year over April, 2015.

The number of reported rapes decreased 35%, from 17 to 11, while vehicle burglaries decreased 48%, from 311 in 2015, to 163 this year.

In fact, crimes decreased in six separate areas as compared to last year, according to the report. The reported crime total was also the lowest year-to-date total since 2013. The report is based on actual calls for service received by the police department.

2016 has seen the largest increase —55% — over 2016, in assaults with a deadly weapon, which would include shootings, along with a 24% increase in what the police term as “burglary other,” which would not include commercial, residential or vehicle burglaries. Residential burglaries dropped 27%, while commercial burglaries increased 14%.

A recent study by a Graham Donath, an Orange County-based law firm, also recently ranked the City of Pasadena the 38th “Most Dangerous City in California” out of 68 ranked cities.

Thirty-seven out of the 65 reported assaults with a deadly weapon incidents occurred in Northwest Pasadena, according to Pasadena Police Lt. Tracy Ibarra.

Ibarra said that a violence reduction task force has been in operation in that area there since February.

“They do directed patrols in known gang activities, like our parks,” Ibarra explained. “They also do probation and parole searches to see if some of the gang members might in fact be in violation of either.”

Ibarra explained, “You see more incidents, but as a result of the task force there’s also more arrests.”

Commenting on the decrease in reported rapes, Ibarra attributed the numbers to a spike in 2015, explaining,“There had been an increase in rapes by the transient population in 2015, we had an increase of some sexual incidents involving one or two [specific] transients,” which accounted for the larger numbers last year.

“Education for the community is paying off,” Ibarra said. “One of the things we talk about is that these are crimes of opportunity. If you leave items of value sitting in your car, especially where there are large numbers of people, or where people congregate, people of a criminal mind will take advantage of it and break into cars. We’ve been educating the public to be mindful not to leave items of value laying out in plain sight, so that those crimes of opportunity can be decreased.”

Much of the decrease in residential burglaries can also be attributed to more involvement by community members, police said. Lieutenant John Mercado told a gathering of residents in West Pasadena last week that the department recently made nine arrests of residential burglary suspects in one week because neighbors called the police after seeing suspicious activity.

“In 2013 there was in increase in residential burglaries, because there were teams of burglars that were working together,” said Ibarra. “Now, the numbers going down has to do with neighbors getting involved, calling us when they see something suspicious, just people keeping an eye out for each other. If people think the neighbors are watching them, they’ll go somewhere else,” she said.

Ibarra also explained that crime statistics tend to appear “cyclical.”

“You’ll see more enforcement and numbers will go back down,” she said, “or you might have a crew or an individual who might do it for a couple of months, and then we get them in custody, and then it just stops again, and that’s because they’re repeat offenders. One person can be responsible for many crimes.”

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