Midyear crime report shows more thefts

Property crimes increased 7% through June of this year when compared to the same period last year, while violent crimes dropped by almost 18%, according to a midyear crime report released this week by the Burbank Police Department.

Together, violent and property crimes increased 2% during that period, mostly because of an 11% spike in thefts, the most common crime to occur in Burbank, the report shows.

Through June, there were 1,011 thefts — which includes shoplifting incidents and thefts from cars — reported in Burbank, up from 913 during the same period last year.

Burbank Police Chief Scott LaChasse said Tuesday that when he walks through parking lots, he sometimes sees unlocked car doors and open windows with valuables left inside.

"That's why we're so big in trying to educate people," LaChasse said. "A lot of what happens is preventable."

Car thefts, meanwhile, dropped 16% from 109 reports through June of last year, to 92 this year, while burglaries stayed almost the same.

Meanwhile, violent crimes, including murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault and assault, dropped 18%. There were 38 aggravated assaults reported through June, down from 55 during the same period last year.

Other assaults dropped 14%, from 227 reported midyear last year to 196 reported through June of this year. The number of robberies fell slightly, from 31 incidents through June of last year, to 27 this year.

One murder was reported through June of this year, marking the first in Burbank since October 2012, when two killings were reported in Burbank.

A 40-year-old Burbank man is suspected of killing his 77-year-old mother, who in January was found dead near the apartment complex where they lived together. The man, Moises Diaz, is due in court this month, jail records show.

Police response times to high-priority calls dropped by almost a minute through June. Police responded to high-priority calls in an average of 3 minutes, 43 seconds through June, down from an average of 4 minutes, 36 seconds during the same period last year.

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