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‘88 Car Thefts Spurt in County, Report Shows

Times Staff Writer

Auto thefts increased dramatically throughout Orange County in 1988, rising more than 25% in Santa Ana and Orange, according to a report from the state attorney general’s office.

“That’s the No. 1 increasing crime in Southern California,” Santa Ana Police Cpl. Cliff Seward said.

The report used statistics only from the 50 largest law enforcement agencies in the state. Seven of those are in Orange County, including the Sheriff’s Department and the police departments of Anaheim, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Orange and Santa Ana.

Reports of homicides, rapes and burglaries across the state decreased last year, according to the report, but the number of assaults and auto thefts increased, leading to an overall 3.9% increase in the statewide crime rate.

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Seward said there are four types of vehicles heading the auto theft list. Toyota pickups--4-wheel and 2-wheel drive--appear to be the most popular choice among 19- to 21-year-olds involved in auto theft.

Second on the list are all imported pickups, 4-wheel and 2-wheel drive.

Imported cars in general are third on the list.

“Not just your nice cars like Porsches and Mercedeses, but Toyotas, Nissans and Subarus--your less-expensive imported cars,” Seward said.

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Volkswagens, “any and all types,” were fourth on the list, he added.

Steward said that 90% of auto thefts occur when a thief breaks into a locked vehicle. He said car owners could help decrease the thefts by getting anti-theft devices from an auto parts store.

Three of the seven Orange County agencies reported fewer crimes in their jurisdictions, contrary to the statewide trend. Four agencies reported overall increases.

The number of homicides increased in four of the seven jurisdictions, including Anaheim, Fullerton, Santa Ana, and areas covered by the Sheriff’s Department, which patrols the county’s unincorporated areas and several cities in the southern part of the county.

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CRIMES REPORTED BY SELECTED LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES IN CALIFORNIA--1987 VS. 1988

VIOLENT CRIMES

Selected Willful Forcible Agencies * Year Total Homicide Rape Robbery Anaheim Police 1987 1,274 14 91 659 Department 1988 1,439 16 107 620 % Change 13.0 -- 17.6 -5.9 Fullerton Police 1987 468 2 50 148 Department 1988 538 6 46 205 % Change 15.0 -- -- 38.5 Garden Grove 1987 962 10 63 431 Police Department 1988 909 8 51 377 % Change -5.5 -- -19.0 -12.5 Huntington Beach 1987 532 6 40 199 Police Department 1988 572 5 43 154 % Change 7.5 -- -- -22.6 Orange County 1987 817 7 66 160 Sheriff’s Department 1988 830 10 51 203 % Change 1.6 -- -22.7 26.9 Orange Police 1987 443 4 21 175 Department 1988 480 3 30 194 % Change 8.4 -- -- 10.9 Santa Ana Police 1987 1,575 31 87 799 Department 1988 2,021 38 89 1,041 % Change 28.3 -- 2.3 30.3 STATE TOTAL 1987 169,028 2,158 8,006 62,621 SELECTED AGENCIES 1988 176,891 2,153 7,583 63,533 % Change 4.7 -0.2 -5.3 2.0

Selected Aggravated Agencies Assault Anaheim Police 510 Department 696 36.5 Fullerton Police 268 Department 281 4.9 Garden Grove 458 Police Department 473 3.3 Huntington Beach 287 Police Department 370 28.9 Orange County 584 Sheriff’s Department 566 -3.1 Orange Police 243 Department 253 4.1 Santa Ana Police 658 Department 853 29.6 STATE TOTAL 96,603 SELECTED AGENCIES 103,622 7.3

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* January through December

PROPERTY CRIMES

Motor Selected Vehicle Larceny- Agencies * Year Total Burglary Theft Theft Anaheim Police 1987 7,299 4,892 2,407 8,733 Department 1988 7,483 4,805 2,658 9.344 % Change 2.2 -1.8 10.4 7.0 Fullerton Police 1987 2,485 1,601 884 3,745 Department 1988 2,458 1,426 1,032 4,274 % Change -1.1 -10.9 16.7 14.1 Garden Grove 1987 3,816 2,458 1,360 5,265 Police Department 1988 3,679 2,086 1,593 5,405 % Change -3.6 -15.1 17.1 2.7 Huntington Beach 1987 3,052 2,253 799 5,157 Police Department 1988 3,301 2,377 924 5,767 % Change 8.2 5.5 15.6 11.8 Orange County 1987 4,168 3,264 904 5,883 Sheriff’s Department 1988 3,854 2,829 1,025 6,477 % Change -7.5 -13.3 13.4 10.1 Orange Police 1987 2,371 1,648 723 3,766 Department 1988 2,309 1,401 908 3,931 % Change -2.6 -15.0 25.6 4.4 Santa Ana Police 1987 7,345 4,300 3,045 11,507 Department 1988 7,423 3,589 3,834 11,503 % Change 1.1 -16.5 25.9 -0.04 STATE TOTAL 1987 413,127 256,560 156,567 528,507 SELECTED AGENCIES 1988 428,101 248,075 180,026 555,914 % Change 3.6 -3.3 15.0 5.2

Selected Agencies Arson Anaheim Police 93 Department 71 -23.7 Fullerton Police 39 Department 44 -- Garden Grove 61 Police Department 73 19.7 Huntington Beach 34 Police Department 32 -- Orange County 171 Sheriff’s Department 228 33.3 Orange Police 52 Department 54 3.8 Santa Ana Police 100 Department 207 107.0 STATE TOTAL 13,465 SELECTED AGENCIES 13,416 -0.4

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* January through December

Source: State Department of Justice, Bureau of Criminal Statistics


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