Crime numbers steady after three-year decline

Crime numbers steady after three-year decline

Michele Ellson
Alameda crime data

Alamedans reported roughly the same number of crimes in 2013 that they did the year before, newly released data show, after two years of seeing crime numbers decline.

Police received 2,079 reports of violent and property crime in 2013, compared with 2,069 in 2012, uniform crime reporting data released by the Alameda Police Department show. In 2010, Alameda police received 2,147 reports of violent and property crime.

A steady rise in stolen cars helped drive the new figures, with Alamedans reporting 54 percent more stolen cars than they did in 2010. Police Chief Paul Rolleri attributed the increase to a six-week period that saw some five dozen car and motorcycle thefts. He said the department arrested two people in mid-November who officers believe were responsible for many of the thefts.

Assaults, burglaries and thefts continued to decline from 2010 numbers, while robberies rose slightly over 2012 totals. There were 10 rapes reported in 2013, up from nine the year before.

No murders were reported in Alameda in 2013; local police investigated a murder a year for each of the three prior years.

Preliminary national data show both violent crimes and property crimes dropping by 5.4 percent for the first six months of 2013 compared with the same period in 2012. Arson reports fell 15.6 percent.

Locally, violent crime numbers were about the same in 2012 and 2013, full-year data provided by the Alameda Police Department show, while property crimes ticked down slightly. Police reported 18 arson cases in 2013, the same number as the year before and eight more than in 2010.

Rolleri is seeking funding for automated license plate readers that will scan and store plate data in part to help the department more easily track down stolen cars. The department recently released a draft policy for the readers and is working on revising the draft.

The department is also working to reduce thefts in Alameda, he said; theft numbers declined slightly last year, though the number of thefts of items worth $200 or less rose slightly. Rolleri said the department recently conducted a sting operation in an effort to catch bicycle thieves, though he said finding the people who sell stolen items is a critical part of the solution for reducing thefts.

“There’s a market for (the stolen items), that’s why it’s happening,” he said of the thefts.

Rolleri also reminded residents not to leave valuables in their cars, visible to potential thieves. He said many of the thefts the department investigates are of items stolen from cars.

“People need to be alert, be cautious, and bring their stuff inside,” he said.

Comments

Submitted by Kristen (not verified) on Fri, Feb 21, 2014

Yes, there is a market for the stolen items, as the chief remarks-- and two of them are the flea markets near the Coliseum and Laney College. Has APD had much luck coordinating with OPD on this? I know a few people who have found their stolen property at these flea markets, but nothing seems to happen to the sellers-- they are back week after week. It is frustrating.

Submitted by Will (not verified) on Fri, Feb 21, 2014

We could use some more pubic service communications that keeps us aware of actions that could help deter crime. More of the communications that inform and remind us. The Mayor's message about crossing streets is a good example. Is crime more about the people who look to steal or about what we forget to close or lock, etc.?