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A Closer Look at Los Angeles Crime Trends

In recent years, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) has reported a jump in the number of violent crime incidents, although the statistics vary significantly by region. Los Angeles, in particular, is one city that is showing some concerning crime trends.

As the second-most populous city in the United States, Los Angeles’ crime trends are of course worth keeping an eye on. But retailers are watching the City of Angels for another reason: namely, the ongoing debate surrounding California’s Proposition 47 initiative that converts many nonviolent offenses, such as shoplifting, from felonies to misdemeanors.

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In the May–June 2018 issue of LP Magazine, Basia Petriawska, contributing writer and vice president of crime intelligence analysis at CAP Index, provides some in-depth reporting on Los Angeles crime trends from 2011-2017. From the article:

The shoplifting category provided by LAPD is divided into two groups: shoplifting-grand theft ($950.01 and over) and shoplifting-petty theft ($950.00 and under). This breakdown corresponds to the misdemeanor dividing line adopted by Proposition 47 and should be helpful for putting the trends into the perspective of this controversial measure.

Both grand theft and petty theft shoplifting have gone up at Los Angeles retail locations in the past few years. Both are relatively flat from 2011 to 2013, followed by large increases through 2016 when the numbers either leveled off or decreased. While both types of shoplifting have increased over the last few years, the magnitude of these changes differs for the two. Grand theft shoplifting went up by 64.3 percent in 2014 versus 2013 and then by another 54.5 percent in 2015 versus 2014. Petty theft, on the other hand, increased by 25.3 percent in 2014 and by 26.4 percent in 2015 when compared to the previous years. Clearly, grand theft increases were more substantial than those for petty theft.

Check out the full article (“Retail Crime in Los Angeles“) to see visual breakdowns of Los Angeles crime statistics and read the Cap Index analysis about the bigger picture.

You can also visit the Table of Contents for the May–June 2018 issue or register for a free subscription to the magazine. [Note: if you’re already a logged-in subscriber, the previous link will take you to the current issue instead.]

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