LAPD Claims Crime is Spiking, But Data May Show Otherwise

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While the latest crime data from the LAPD suggests that robbery, burglary and theft are down in Los Angeles compared to 2019, police have pointed to a rash of recent “smash and grab” shoplifting incidents that targeted high-end retailers during the holiday shopping season as proof that these types of crimes are actually on the rise, reports NBC News. After L.A. officials announced the arrests of 14 people in smash-and-grab crimes and retail thefts from Nov. 18 through 28, 2021, Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore described the incidents as a wave of “violent and dangerous crimes” and city officials have renewed support for the police department, including backing a 12 percent budget increase.

Statewide, California Gov. Gavin Newsom this month pledged $300 million to combat retail theft, despite critics who say that the incidents have been happening for at least the better part of a decade and are merely being used to heighten panic, further anti- justice reform rhetoric, and justify officer raises. Robberies and thefts have increased slightly since 2020, when crime dipped in many categories amid pandemic lockdowns, experts believe 2019 is a better year for crime comparisons. Compared to this point in 2019, robbery is down 12.7 percent, burglary is down 7.1 percent and theft is down 31.3 percent.

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