The Times podcast: California crime waves, real and imaginary

Nordstrom store
A guard stands outside the Nordstrom at the Grove mall in Los Angeles in November, the day after a break-in at the store.
(Eugene Garcia / Associated Press)

It’s been a season of crime in California. Smash-and-grab thefts, follow-home robberies, high-profile murders — national, even international news accounts have painted a Golden State of chaos.


The numbers tell a different story: Some major crime indicators are up, but others are down, and they’re nowhere near historical highs. But that reality isn’t placating anyone. And when Californians get mad about crime — watch out, America.

Today, L.A. Times columnist Erika D. Smith discusses California’s legacy of crackdowns. And business reporter Sam Dean discusses how some stores may be taking advantage of public fear.

Host: Gustavo Arellano

Guests: L.A. Times columnist Erika D. Smith and business reporter Sam Dean

More reading:

Column: Don’t let Jacqueline Avant’s shooting get pulled into L.A.’s crass politics of crime

San Francisco confronts a crime wave unusual among U.S. cities

Retailers say thefts are at crisis level. The numbers say otherwise

About The Times

“The Times” is made by columnist Gustavo Arellano, senior producers Denise Guerra, Shannon Lin and Kasia Broussalian and producers Melissa Kaplan, Ashlea Brown and Angel Carreras. Our engineer is Mario Diaz. Our editor is Lauren Raab. Our executive producers are Jazmín Aguilera and Shani O. Hilton. Our theme song was composed by Andrew Eapen.