California Reports Property Crime Up, Violent Crime Down

LOS ANGELES

Property crime is on the rise in California according to the latest statistics released by the state’s attorney general. While most crime rates in the state remain low and violent crime decreased 3.7 percent during the first half of 2003, the property crime rate rose 3.4 percent in the same time period.

However, much of the increase in the property crime rate reported Oct. 15 is being attributed to a 6.7 percent increase in auto thefts, including a more than 50 percent increase in stolen vehicles in the cities of Pomona and Bakersfield. The burglary rate remained unchanged for the first half of 2003.

California Attorney General Bill Lockyer told the Los Angeles Times that the drop in violent crime in the state can be attributed, in part, to the declining portion of the population that is male and between ages 18 and 28. “When you have more of that group in your population, you have more crime,” Lockyer said. “When you have less of that group, you have less crime.”

Robberies were down 2.2 percent in the first half of 2003, while forcible rapes dropped 4.1 percent and homicides decreased 1.7 percent.

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