Police see crime decrease in LJ for most of year

In La Jolla, the news on the crime rate for the first three-quarters of the year was mostly good, reported Capt. Shelley Zimmerman of San Diego Police’s Northern division.

One area where statistics show crime has increased is in incidents of rape.

“This year we had six rapes and last year we had two,” Zimmerman said, noting police have had an active educational outreach program in beach areas informing people about the connection between alcohol and date rape.

“Rape is mostly an underreported crime,” she added, “and anytime you have heightened awareness, there’s always an increase in reporting.”

Zimmerman said police did exceptionally well on robberies in La Jolla, as there was a 50 percent decrease - 10 incidents as opposed to 20 - this year compared to last.

She said aggravated assaults went from 33 last year to 29 this year, a 12 percent decrease.

Burglaries off, too

Commercial burglaries in La Jolla went from 75 in 2007 to 80 in 2008, a 6.7 percent increase. Larcenies, theft-related crimes, also dipped by 11 percent over the last year going from 616 incidents in 2007 to 548 in 2008.

Motor-vehicle thefts dropped 48.5 percent this year over last, decreasing from 168 down to 87.

“The property crime index dropped 12.7 percent,” Zimmerman said. “Last year we had 929 incidents, and this year we had 811. The total crime index - violent and property crimes - decreased 13.1 percent.”

She added car prowls in the Jewel also dropped 21 percent over the last year, going from 418 reported incidents in the first three quarters of 2007 to 330 incidents in the first three quarters of 2008.

Across the city

Citywide, rapes and homicides rose during the period, but the overall crime rate was down 7.6 percent compared to the same period in 2007, according to crime statistics released recently by the mayor’s office.

The overall decrease in the city’s crime rate included a 3.5 percent dip in reported violent crimes, down from 4,722 to 4,556.

The violent crime total also declined in the past year, dropping from 56 incidents in 2007 to 45 in 2008, a 19.6 percent decrease. The results were not so good for residential burglaries, which numbered 96 in 2008 compared with 69 in 2007, a 39 percent hike.