UPDATED: Sheriff’s stats show overall decrease in crime

LOS ANGELES COUNTY — Crime statistics released by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Friday show that both violent and property crime is down throughout the county, with some significant decreases in the San Gabriel Valley.
Violent crimes are down 12.61 percent the first nine months of 2011, compared with last year, according to a report issued by the sheriff’s department. They’re down 21.84 percent over the past five years.
Property crimes dropped by 3.5 percent in 2011, and 14.56 percent since 2006.
Most notable in the San Gabriel Valley, so-called “Part I” crimes such as murder, robbery, burglary, rape and auto theft, declined by 32.1 percent at the sheriff’s Altadena Station, 15.6 percent at the La Crescenta Sation and 15.2 percent at the Temple Station, according to the report. All three stations have seen declined of more than 25 percent over the past five years, as have the Industry, San Dimas and Walnut stations.
The only notable spikes in crime in the San Gabriel Valley were in the categories of rape and criminal homicide, which both involve small numbers, making statistics subject to rapid change. Murders handled by the Norwalk Station gre from two last year to six, and five homicide have been investigated in Pico Rivera so far this year, compared with two the year before.
Reported forcible rapes handled by the Industry Station rose from 16 last year to 21 this year. Eleven rapes were reported to the San Dimas Station this year, compared with six last year, and 10 were reported to the Walnut Station, up from seven last year.
At many area sheriff’s stations, robbery, assault, burglary, theft and auto theft statisitcs have seen significant and continuing decline over the past five years, continuing this year.
In Altadena, robberies are down 16.9 percent this year, and 33.1 percent over the past five years.
Robberies declined by 13.6 percent this year in the Temple Station’s area, 32 percent at the Pico Rivera Station, 24.9 percent at the Pico Rivera Station and 14 percent at the Walnut Station.and 29.8 percent since 2006. All three stations have seen declined of more than 23 percent over the past five years.
Agravated assaults at the Crescenta, Altadena, Norwalk and Walnut stations are down this year by more than 20 percent, also continuing a five-year downward trend.
Burglaries in Altadena have dropped 33.2 percent this year. The Pico Rivera, San Dimas and Norwalk stationsl saw decreases around 15 percent.
Thefts, which were down throughout most of the county, were down in Altadena by 34.7 percent. The Norwalk and Pico Rivera stations saw single-digit increases in thefts.
And auto theft continues to become a less common crime in many areas, with annual decreases of 40.7 percent at the Altadena Station, 36.7 percent at the La Crescenta Station, 22.8 percent at the Temple Station, 36.8 percent at the San Dimas Station and 21.6 percent at the Walnut Station. All five stations have experienced a decrease in auto thefts of more than 40 percent over the past five years.
Rio Hondo College professor of criminal justice Bob Feliciano said the drop in crime was likely do to an aging population.
“That’s the dynamic. We have an older society with older crooks, and older crooks don’t commit crimes,” Feliciano said. “There’s very few burglars in their 50s.”
He added that predictions five years ago that crime rates would skyrocket due to a bad economy and high unemployment failed to take into account the aging of the criminal population.
But the trend won’t hold for long, Feliciano said.
“Unfortunately, we have a new cadre of young people coming up,” he said. Once the next generation reaches the “age of crime” in the next five or ten years, police and jails will likely become busier.
“As I tell my students,” who are primarily future law enforcement officials, “right now crime is down. but don’t worry, business is going to get better.”

See the raw data

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