SANTA MONICA—On February 14, the Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) released their annual crime report for 2023, with theft being the most prevalent of all the crimes committed. According to the SMPD webpage, if the criminal activity continues as it is now in the remainder of 2024, crime rates could easily surpass last year’s statistics.
On Tuesday, February 13, the Santa Monica City Council heard the updated crime statistics report from SMPD Chief Ramon Batista.
“One of the things we tried to do this year in addressing some of the concerns we had the three major parks was to make sure we had an increased presence in our public service officers and our downtown service officers,” Batista stated.
The takeaway from the report posted on X showed that SMPD received a total of 103,462, calls for service, with a 10 percent increase in police actions, and of those 18 percent of the calls, 18,939 were related to homelessness.
SMPD reported one murder in Santa Monica last year. SMPD Lieutenant, Erika Aklufi, reported the following homicide for 2024.
“On January 25 at approximately 10:25 AM, Santa Monica Police Department officers responded to a call of Shots Fired in the 2600 block of 29th Street in Santa Monica. Officers located the victim of the shooting seated in his parked vehicle. The victim, identified as William Edwards III, a 46-year-old resident of Los Angeles, was transported to a local hospital in grave condition and died at the hospital. The motive for the crime is still being investigated.”
SMPD reported 45 documented rapes were reported in 2023. This is up from 39 in 2022. There were no reported rapes on the website for 2024.
In 2023, there were 460 reported aggravated assaults or what used to be referred to as assault with a deadly weapon. This figure was less than the year prior. There were no reports on the SMPD website for 2024.
There were 80 reports of arson in 2023, which was down from 86 in 2022.
SMPD reported 231 robberies in 2023, which was up from 222 in 2022.
Of all of the robberies and burglaries, strong armed robbery was the most reported crime.
On February 13, Lieutenant Aklufi reported the arrest of four young adults and one juvenile who were captured with the help of a K9 officer on attempted burglary charges after breaking into The Real Real located at 200 26th St.
SMPD responded to 569 incidents of grand theft auto.
Petty crimes or what SMPD refers to as, “Part 2 crimes,” include simple assault, trespassing, public intoxication, vandalism, and other misdemeanor crimes. Of those, simple assault was the most prevalent with 859 cases reported. There were 730 cases of vandalism.
For 2024, the SMPD website shows multiple traffic related incidents, one of which was fatal. Reports of trespassing are also listed in the press releases on the SMPD website for 2024.