Monday, December 18, 2006

East Bay Crime Roundup

By Chris Thompson
Mon, Dec 18, 2006 at 3:25 PM

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has released crime statistics for the first six months of 2006. Here are some of the highlights for East Bay cities with more than 100,000 residents.

The news is mixed for Antioch, but overall, crime is probably better than it looks. Violent crime rose from 271 incidents in the first half of 2005 to 316 in 2006, but this may be attributable to the rise in the overall population. Murders plummeted from six to two, but robberies rose 18 percent, and aggravated assaults rose 14 percent. Property crimes dropped a substantial 31 percent.

Berkeley's crime rate remained about the same, with exactly 276 violent incidents in both the first half of 2005 and the first half of 2006. Ditto with property crimes, where the increase was negligible. But here's an interesting anomaly: Although Antioch and Berkeley have essentially the same population, Berkeley has three times as much property crime as Antioch. On the other hand, Antioch has slightly more violent crime.

Concord's violent crime also remained more or less the same; robbery rose 38 percent, but aggravated assault dropped 10 percent, balancing it out. Property crime in general dropped 12 percent.

Violent crime dropped slightly in Fremont. With twice the population of Berkeley, Antioch, and Concord, it recorded roughly the same numbers of violent crime, making it the safest midsize city in the East Bay. But property crime rose significantly, from 505 incidents in the first six months of 2005 to 702 in 2006.

Hayward saw a steep jump in violent crime, rising 24 percent overall. Murder was cut in half, but robbery rose 28 percent, and assault rose 30 percent. Property crime was more or less the same.

But the big prize goes to Oakland, which saw violent crime rise from 2,657 incidents in the first six months of 2005 to 3,665 in 2006, a jump of 38 percent. Murder rose 78 percent, robbery rose 48 percent, and assault rose 32 percent. Interestingly rape declined by 13 percent, and property crimes declined slightly. Auto theft, on the other hand, jumped 20 percent.

And the shocker of the list is Richmond, where violent crime actually dropped 9 percent. Murders were more or lesss the same, but robbery dropped slightly, and assault dropped 15 percent. Meanwhile, property crime rose 3 percent. Not bad, Richmond. Give yourself a hand.

Back to 92510, the East Bay Express news blog.

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