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Los Angeles goes nine days without a homicide, police say

Los Angeles goes nine days without a homicide, police say
Homicides are down nearly 9% from the same period in 2012. Since 2000, the longest the city has gone without a homicide was 10 days in 2010. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

In a city that averages about one slaying a day, Los Angeles has not had a homicide in nine days, a stretch that has not been seen since 2010, according to figures from the Los Angeles Police Department.

"If you would have told me 20 years ago that we would go nine days without a homicide, I would have never believed it," Cmdr. Andy Smith said Friday.

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Since 2000, the longest the city has gone without a slaying was 10 days, from Aug. 30 to Sept. 8, 2010, according to figures compiled by the department.

"If we can break that, it would be remarkable," Smith said.

The most recent homicide in the city occurred Oct. 8 and was the 217th this year. Homicides are down nearly 9% from the same period in 2012, a decrease of 21.

Recently, New York City went nearly eight days without a homicide. The stretch was broken when an 18-year-old was killed Oct. 14, local media reported.

But it was the second time in 2013 that New York had seen such a stretch. In January, the city went nine days without a homicide.

On Thursday, Det. Kelle Baitx, who has investigated homicides with LAPD's Newton Division for more than two decades, said he was surprised to hear about the city's homicide-free stretch.

"It's slow here," he said, "It's slow everywhere now."

Last year, the division saw a record low 16 homicides, a stark contrast from the 1990s, he said, when the division would handle more than 100 killings a year.

"That was just the nature of the beast," he said.

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