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SAN GABRIEL VALLEY DIGEST

West Covina : Crime Up at Mid-Year

July 31, 1986

Crime for the first half of 1986 is up by 17.7% over the same period last year, Police Chief Craig L. Meacham reported to the City Council this week.

Burglaries totalled 853 this year, up from 640 in 1985; rapes rose to 23 from 9; and auto thefts were up to 547 from 422.

The number of reported aggravated assaults rose to 206 in 1986 from 115 last year. About 60% of the increase was attributed to state domestic-violence laws mandating police reports, Meacham said.

Murders were down for the six-month period, dropping from four to one, he said.

So far this year, arrests are up by 40%. But, Meacham said, "they seem to be getting ahead of us a little with regard to the number of arrests and the number of crimes."

Meacham said that the city's crime patterns coincide with FBI figures that show that crime increasing nationwide. "No one has identified any cause yet," he said.

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