CALIFORNIA—During the Monday, May 4 edition of his weekly press conferences, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced that violent crimes had dropped by 10% in comparison to the previous year.
Comparing the broadcast time to the same period in 2019, there was a 4% drop in criminal homicides, a 33% decline in rape reporting, and an 8% decrease in property crimes. Villanueva said “those are very significant numbers” when referring to the first 2 statistics.
The “only noticeable uptake” in crime rates was reportedly in grand theft auto, and LAPD and “a lot of jurisdictions” have also supposedly observed the same trend.
“Typically what’s happening is: everyone’s at home, everyone has their cars parked at home. However, you start losing sight of where your vehicles are parked, because we have a lot more vehicles than we have places to park them safely that you can observe them. So they become easy targets for people who are stealing vehicles,” Villanueva explained.
“So we need to be aware of this and this is where your neighborhood watch (comes in): (if) people that don’t belong in the neighborhood are around, call your local police department, call your sheriff’s department. We’ll make sure we keep a high visibility in your neighborhoods to prevent this from happening.”
From March 29 to May 4, 2020, there were 3 COVID-19-related citations and 55 arrests.
Villanueva also mentioned that 1,185 Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department staff members were quarantined because of the COVID-19 outbreak (nearly 1,000 returned to work), and 116 staff personnel tested positive for the disease. 3,287 inmates were quarantined, and of the 123 who tested positive, 55 have fully recovered as of May 4.
View the official announcement at https://lasd.org/sheriff-announces-crime-percentage-drops/, and watch the press conference here.