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|May 16, 2021|
Pandemic impacts California cities’ crime
LOS ANGELES – (INT) - Four of California’s major cities—Los Angeles, Oakland, San Diego, and San Francisco—have seen a notable rise in homicides and car thefts, even while violent and property crimes overall remain below pre-pandemic levels.
The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) examined data on the reported number of crimes in these four large cities through March 2021.
Violent crime in these four cities dropped notably in March 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic. It then rose, reaching pre-pandemic levels in the fall.
Data also showed a troubling rise in homicides in 2020. Los Angeles reported a 40% increase in homicides while Oakland experienced a 36% jump. San Francisco and San Diego also saw increases from 17% to 10%, respectively.
Property crime in these four major cities fell by 17%, when comparing the first two months in 2020 to the same time period in 2021. However, car thefts are notably up by 24%, and commercial burglaries have risen by about 26%. Commercial burglaries jumped significantly in May 2020, coinciding with civil unrest after the killing of George Floyd, and have declined in early 2021, almost reaching pre-pandemic levels.
There were key differences across the four cities. San Francisco is the only city in which residential burglaries increased, but they did so dramatically by about 78%. Meanwhile, Oakland is the only city that saw a drop (about 26%) in commercial burglaries.
Story Date: May 4, 2021