crime. Offenses defined as violent are murder, forcible rape, robbery
and aggravated assault. The small decrease was not seen in Huntington
Beach, according to the report, where violent crime rose 21.2%.
Reported robberies and assaults account for most violent crimes in
Huntington Beach. In 2003, 101 robberies were reported, up from 84 in
2002. Aggravated assaults increased from 216 to 263.
Police attributed the increased number of robberies to an upsurge
in bank robberies
The heists, Perez said, are believed to be frequently committed by
gangs based in Los Angeles County.
The rise in reported assaults could be because more people,
especially domestic violence victims, are calling police, Huntington
Beach Lt. Janet Perez said.
"The supposition in part is we have better reporting," she said.
Police have not found a pattern that explains why assaults went up
in 2003, however.
Early 2004 data suggests a decline in both robberies and assaults
this year, Perez said.
There were three murders reported in both 2002 and 2003, while the
number of rapes went up from 36 to 44.
Property crime rates didn't change much in 2003, increasing by
The number of reported burglaries went up, while vehicle thefts
and grand theft reports declined.
Perez said the rise in burglaries was likely because of an upswing
in the number of car burglaries and belongings stolen out of cars.
"Burglaries of residences have been dropping steadily over the
past five years," she said.
In 2003, 961 burglaries were reported, compared to 856 the
previous year. Vehicle thefts dropped from 475 to 441, and grand
thefts took a dip from 1,049 to 986.