Increase in Homicides, Violent Crimes Against Seniors, and Motor Vehicle Thefts
Overall Crime Rate Still the Second Lowest In 37 Years
San Diego County CA— The number of homicides, aggravated assaults, and motor vehicle thefts in the San Diego region went up in 2016, compared to 2015, while the number of rapes, robberies, burglaries, and larcenies went down, according to the annual crime report released by the SANDAG Criminal Justice Division.
The 2016 violent crime rate per 1,000 residents was 3.33, and the property crime rate was 18.66. Both rates were the second lowest recorded since SANDAG began preparing annual regional crime reports in 1980.
“San Diego County remains a very safe place to live,” said Director of Criminal Justice Research Dr. Cynthia Burke. “However, there are a couple areas of concern: homicides are up, so are robberies committed with a firearm, as well as violent crimes against seniors.”
Below are selected highlights:
- Oceanside had a 9% decrease in reported violent crimes, 639 in 2016 compared to 702 the previous year.
- Carlsbad and Vista saw an increases in 2016. 209 reported violent crimes in 2016 compared to 172 in 2015 for Carlsbad. Vista had 372 reported violent crimes in 2016 compared to 343 in 2015.
- There were 17 more homicides in the region – a total of 101 in 2016 compared to 84 in 2015. While this was considerably lower than the high of 278 reported in 1991, it was the third consecutive increase and the highest number reported since 2012. Oceanside had 8 homicides, Vista had two and Fallbrook, three.
- Violent crimes against seniors (those 60 and older) went up 37 percent over the past 5 years – an increase that’s not solely attributable to an aging population. (This segment of the population has increased 15 percent over 5 years.)
- While the number of robberies were down overall from 2015 to 2016 (-1 percent), the number committed with a firearm increased 30 percent. Similarly, the number of aggravated assaults with a firearm increased 14 percent.
- The number of motor vehicles stolen across the region increased 11 percent from 2015, with more reported stolen vehicles than burglaries for the first time since 2008.
- Even though property crime was down, the value of the property stolen was up, driven in part by the increase in vehicle thefts. On average, $468,080 worth of property was stolen daily in the region in 2016.
Since 1980, SANDAG has been reporting crime statistics for the San Diego region through a cooperative agreement with local law enforcement agencies. These data are useful to local law enforcement, policy makers, and the community in general in tracking public safety over time, as well as the effectiveness of crime prevention and response efforts.