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Crime Drops 5% in Northeast L.A. Area

August 15, 1985|SAM ENRIQUEZ | Times Staff Writer

Crimes against people and property in the Northeast Los Angeles area dropped 5% in the first six months of this year, contrasted with the same period last year, while Glendale's crime statistics did not change significantly from its 1984 mid-year tally, police reported this week.

In Glendale, 3,791 major crimes were reported, one more than were reported for the first six months of last year. Increases in arson and car thefts were offset by decreases in reported rapes and felony assaults in the city of 148,000 residents. Glendale uses the number of murders, rapes, robberies, assaults, burglaries, thefts, car thefts and arson to measure major crime activity.

Glendale reported an 8.6% increase in car thefts, 418 being registered for the first six months of 1984 and 454 through the first half of 1985, and a 9% increase in property stolen from cars. Glendale police attribute the increase in car-related crimes to the opening of multilevel parking structures built for new office and commercial projects.

58% Jump in Arson

Arson-related fires in Glendale, averaging about 100 a year since 1982, jumped 58%, with 68 reported during the first half of 1985. Glendale Fire Investigator John Orr said the city has seen an increase in fires started by juveniles. Also, Orr said, firefighters have been receiving specialized training in the detection of arson fires, which may be responsible for the higher number listed.

Through the first half of 1985, eight rapes were reported in Glendale, contrasted with 12 during the same period last year. Assaults were down from 98 last year to 88 in 1985. Robberies rose from 129 in the first half of 1984 to 134 by mid-1985.

No homicides were reported in Glendale through June of this year. None was reported for the first half of last year.

Commercial burglaries increased by 32% in the first half of this year, with 525 reported in 1985 contrasted with 397 last year. However, residential burglaries dropped from 641 to 504. Glendale police attribute that dip in part to a growing awareness of home-security precautions and to the formation of Neighborhood Watch groups.

Increase Tied to Galleria

Commercial burglaries are up primarily because of crime activity at the Galleria, police crime analyst Jack Altounian said. "Without the Galleria, commercial burglaries would be in a decreasing pattern," he said.

In the Northeast Los Angeles communities of Highland Park, Eagle Rock, Silver Lake, Glassell Park, Atwater, Los Feliz and East Hollywood, reported crimes generally have dropped about 5%, according to Los Angeles Police Department records. The department's Northeast Division covers 26 square miles and a population of about 160,000.

Northeast Division Capt. Robert Taylor said the dip in crime may reflect the department's increased community relations and visibility, both in schools and among homeowners and business associations. Crime statistics nationally have seen a dip, which experts attribute to the decrease in the number of people in their teens and twenties.

Decrease in Homicides

The largest percentage decrease was in homicides, with a 58% drop--from 12 during the first six months of 1984 to five this year. Burglaries went down 15%, with 1,992 reported through the first six months of this year against 2,352 for the same period in 1984.

Rapes were up about 8%, from 36 to 39 reported. Robbery went from 346 to 377, a 9% increase. Assaults dropped about 1%, from 355 to 351.

Car thefts climbed 4%, with 1,178 reported stolen for the period last year to 1,133 for the first six months of 1985.

Los Angeles police do not include arson in their crime statistics.

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