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Crime Dropped in Santa Monica During First Nine Months of Year, Police Data Show

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By Jorge Casuso

October 8, 2019 -- There were 599 fewer reported crimes in Santa Monica during the first nine months of this year, a nearly 15 percent drop over the same period last year, according to data released by the Santa Monica Police Department Tuesday.

Serious crime dropped from 4,168 reported crimes between January 1 and September 30 last year to 3,569 during the same period this year, a 14.37 percent decrease, the data show.

Part 1 offenses, which are considered serious crimes, are murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, larceny, grand theft auto and arson.

Larceny, or the unlawful taking of personal property, which accounted for by far the most crimes, dropped from 2,939 reported offenses to 2,442, a 17 percent decrease.

Car break-ins saw a 17.5 percent decrease with those committed downtown dropping by 120 incidents, said Police Chief Cythia Renaud.

"The busiest parking structures are seeing reductions in criminal activity, which can be attributed to a few new changes we imposed," Renaud a blog post announcing the new crime numbers.

The changes include adding private security patrols and "an intensified focus on our crime suppression missions," Renaud said.

Assaults saw a 23 percent decrease between January 1 and September 30 -- from 308 during that period last year to 238 this year.

"I am always concerned with the crime of assault and I know that it does not convey a feeling of safety in our community when assaults occur," Renaud said.

"The City of Santa Monica is unique in that we are a small city with a big city feel and we have appeal and draw for everyone."

The number of reported murders dropped from 6 last year to 3, while rapes dropped from 37 to 31, the police data show.

Burglaries and robberies also decreased, with robberies dropping from 209 to 199, or 5 percent, and burglaries from 480 to 443, or an 8 percent drop.

Grand theft auto and arson both increased, with car thefts rising 6 percent from 180 last year to 191 this year, and arson rising from 9 to 22.

SMPD recently hired 20 more officers and is "working to reach our full staffing numbers," Renaud said.

"This means there are more police units out on the street to continue with our crime-fighting efforts and commitment to community outreach," the Chief said.

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