SANTA MONICA—A first-quarter crime report released by the Santa Monica Police Department, on May 25, shows that crime, both serious and petty increased compared to 2022 first-quarter results. While calls for police service decreased by 7 percent compared to last year’s first quarter report, there were 259 more arrests.
According to the 2023 first quarter report, there has been an increase in Part I crimes, which include “homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, grand theft auto, and arson.” There were 149 more reports (a 14 percent increase) of Part I crimes than the 2022 first-quarter crime report.
Larceny accounted for a considerable portion of the increase in Part I crimes. Included in the 2023 first quarter report were 180 incidents of auto parts theft, 81 percent of which were stolen catalytic converters. The most targeted type of vehicle for catalytic converter theft was the Toyota Prius.
A new ordinance approved by Santa Monica City Council last week aims to discourage catalytic converter theft. The ordinance will make it illegal to possess a catalytic converter that is not attached to a vehicle unless documentation can prove lawful possession. Proof may take the form of a bill of sale or legal intent to use in an auto repair shop. An individual without valid proof may be fined $500.
Domestic violence has risen by 19 percent, and rape reports increased from eight incidents to 13 compared to the 2022 first quarter crime report. For information on getting help, identifying abuse, or making a plan for safety visit https://www.thehotline.org/get-help/.
Part II crimes such as simple assault, DUIs, fraud, vandalism, and narcotics increased by 119 crimes (a 19 percent increase) compared to the 2022 first-quarter report.
Although vandalism accounts for the highest number of incidents in the Part II crime category, incidents of vandalism have dropped from 182 in 2022 to 175 in 2023 during the first quarter report. Simple assault incidents have risen to levels seen in 2019, with 174 incidents reported during the first quarter of 2023.
By Paige Strickland