Crime increased 6.4% last year in Long Beach, but remains slightly below its level of 1986, according to Police Chief Lawrence L. Binkley.
The number of murders dropped from 67 in 1987 to 57 in 1988, but reports of robberies and aggravated assaults increased. Residential burglaries were up slightly while commercial burglaries were down. Auto burglaries increased 17.7%.
There was a large increase in thefts. Grand theft was up 19.3%, auto theft up 13.7% and bicycle theft up 35.6%. Petty thefts were down slightly.
The eastern part of the city experienced the largest increases in crime. In Councilman Tom Clark's District 4--the area east of Signal Hill--crime increased 25.8%. In Councilman Les Robbins' District 5--the area east and north of Long Beach Airport, crime was up 18.1% overall.