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Crime Statistics

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The Police Department prepares a report on crime each month known as the “Uniform Crime Report.” This report is submitted to the Department of Justice by every law enforcement agency in the United States, and the numbers are then used for statistical comparisons by agency and type of crime.  The Federal Bureau of Investigation selected seven of the most serious offenses to comprise a Crime Index. These offenses are known as “Part One” crimes, and include homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, theft/larceny, and auto theft.

Below is a 20-year comparison of crime in Manhattan Beach.

20 year Crime Trends 

Violent Crime

Homicide, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault are considered violent crimes.  Robbery is defined as taking or attempting to take valuables from the care, custody, or control of a person by force or fear.   Aggravated Assault is defined as an unlawful attack by one person upon another for the purpose of inflicting severe or aggravated bodily injury. (e.g., a bar fight or domestic violence incident).  Overall, violent crime was down 20% in 2018 compared to 2017.

Property Crime

Property crimes include theft/larceny, burglary, and motor vehicle theft.

Burglary is defined as the unlawful entry (or attempted unlawful entry) into a structure to commit a felony or theft. The term “burglary” can include both residential and commercial burglary. Approximately 80% of burglary occurrences are residential burglaries and 20% are commercial burglaries. It is likely that many of these incidents might have been prevented because in 2018, nearly 45% of burglary occurrences did not involve forced entry, meaning that a door was unlocked, a window was left open, etc. Taking proper steps to secure one’s home or vehicle can significantly reduce the chances of becoming a victim of crime. Burglary occurrences were down 37% from 2017 to 2018.

In virtually every community, larceny/theft represents the highest percentage of Part One crimes; in Manhattan Beach, it represents approximately 70%. Larceny is defined as the unlawful taking, carrying, leading, or riding away of property that belongs to someone else.

Shoplifting, theft of objects from within a vehicle, theft of motor vehicle parts, bicycle theft, theft from buildings, theft from coin operated machines, pick-pocketing, and all other larcenies are included.

In 2018, incidents of larceny increased by 9%.  Articles stolen from motor vehicles makes up the largest percentage of larceny occurrences at 32%, followed by shoplifting at 27%.

Preventable Crimes

Most property crimes are preventable if residents take the simple steps necessary to protect their personal property.  Everyone is strongly advised to lock their cars and remove any valuables each time they exit their vehicle – even if parked in the household driveway. Over 90% of thefts from a vehicle in Manhattan Beach are because valuables are left in plain view, and nearly 65% of these vehicles were left unlocked. Countless laptop computers, cameras, cell phones, portable GPS systems, briefcases, sunglasses, purses, and wallets are stolen because owners left them visible to passersby. Vehicles left unlocked with valuables visible are an invitation to criminals.

The Police Department will continue its outreach efforts to educate residents and work with the community to reduce the potential for crime. Residents are encouraged to call Manhattan Beach Police dispatch when something suspicious is observed; dial 911 or (310) 545-4566 and let our officers respond to investigate. You may be solving a crime or preventing one from occurring.

For tips on reducing your risk of theft from vehicles and for other crime prevention tips, please visit the Community Affairs Section website.

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