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Laguna Beach

September 05, 2000|Sharon Nagy, (949) 248-2168

A dramatic decrease in major crimes is giving the Police Department more time to concentrate on such problems as panhandling, public intoxication and dogs without leashes.

"The Police Department is paying much more attention and time [to] dealing with nuisance-type crimes," Police Chief Jim Spreine said. "We have the time to worry about these because we're not out handling the rapes and the murders."

In 1999, 648 crime reports were filed in Laguna Beach, a 12% decrease compared with the previous year. There were no homicides.

There were five reported rapes in 1999, the same as the previous year. Suspects were charged in three of the cases, but two cases remain unsolved.

"We're pleased that crime is down, but we're not going to boast about it because crime is down throughout the United States and the county," Spreine said.

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