West Covina : Major Crimes Up 16%

Major crimes in West Covina--including robbery, assault and theft--have increased almost 16% over last year, according to Police Chief Craig Meacham's midyear report.

As of June, however, there had been decreases in the number of rapes and burglaries.

Meacham's report, given to the City Council at Monday's meeting, notes that a "correlation between substance abuse and major crimes can be established in the majority of cases." The second biggest factor causing the increase was a rise in street gang activity, Meacham said.

The largest increase was in theft, which shot up 28% over the number of incidents last year. There has also been a 20% increase in the number of robberies, and a 6% increases in assaults and car thefts.

Because of the increased criminal activity, police have made 3,792 arrests, a 12% increase over the same period last year.

Police response time has remained at a 4.9-minute average, considered excellent for a city the size of West Covina, according to other law enforcement officials. Over the last six months, police received a call for assistance every 16.9 minutes, every day of the week.

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