Hawthorne Crime Rate Stable, but Murder, Burglary Increase

The major crime rates remained relatively stable here during the past two years, increasing by only one percentage point in 1984, according to Police Chief Kenneth R. Stonebraker.

There were, however, significant increases in burglary and murder last year, while assaults and larceny went down. Major crimes--homicide, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, larceny and vehicle theft--totaled 4,852 last year, compared to 4,802 in 1983. The information came from a Police Department computer analysis of local crime.

Stonebraker said that after a three-year decline, burglaries went up by 20% last year, hitting 1,198. There were 11 murders in 1984--five more than during the previous year. Assaults totaled 458 last year, down 29 from the previous year, while crimes of larceny declined by 162 in 1984 to a total of 2,045.

Burglaries by Juveniles

Police said 23 residential burglaries were committed by juveniles who were carriers for a local daily newspaper. A series of cat burglaries in Hawthorne and other South Bay cities also contributed to last year's increase, police said.

"Burglary will continue to be a target of concern in 1985 to bring this crime back to reduced levels," Stonebraker said.

Administrative Capt. David Barnes said murder is a crime that fluctuates from year to year and the cause is hard to pinpoint. However, he said, drugs are probably a factor, adding that the two murders ini the city so far this year were drug related.

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