Violent and property crimes in Burbank saw a small rise last year, with a 1.95% increase in reported incidents, according to the Burbank Police Department.
The department’s year-end crime statistics list 3,197 instances of crime that were reported in the city in 2017 as opposed to 3,136 in 2016. Sgt. Derek Green, a police spokesman, said the department would’ve liked to have seen a decrease in crime, but the minimal increase is still a testament to the work of officers and staff members.
Green said the department has implemented various strategies to tamp down crime including direct-patrol missions, where officers identify specific problem areas of the city and increase their presence there. He also said the department has been aggressively filling vacancies since 2016, hiring more staff and sworn officers.
“Hopefully we’ll start to see a decrease soon,” he said.
As for 2017, the number of violent crimes — which include rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults — jumped by 21% last year, from 209 reported cases in 2016 to 253. The gain was the result of a 72% hike in robberies, with 86 cases reported last year, while 2016 saw only 50.
Green said the rise is due, in part, to what’s called “Estes” robberies, which initially start out as shoplifting incidents.
“If a suspect engages in a physical confrontation with someone like a loss prevention officer trying to detain them, by law, that becomes a robbery,” he said.
However, not all of the robberies are upgraded shoplifting incidents, as Green referenced several armed robberies that occurred in Burbank last year including a Walgreens that was robbed in September and Subway and 7-Eleven that were robbed in November.
Last year also saw a 16.6% decline in the number of reported rapes, going from 24 to 20.
No homicides were reported in 2017 or 2016.
Property crimes — which include burglaries, thefts and auto thefts — saw an overall increase of .58%, with 2,944 cases reported last year, while 2,927 were reported in 2016. It’s the biggest category of crime in Burbank, according to Green.
Burglaries saw the most dramatic reduction in property crimes, with a 9.44% decrease. Last year, there were 355 cases, while 2016 had 392.
“We’ve certainly seen an increase in previous years, so the decrease is refreshing,” he said.
The number of thefts saw a small increase last year, going from 2,269 incidents in 2016 to 2,344 last year, a 3.31% bump.
To help prevent any future property crimes, Green said residents should become more aware of their surroundings and valuables. Precautions such as keeping a car locked, installing antitheft devices and keeping items out of sight can go a long way, he said.
Feb. 2, 4:05 p.m.: This article was originally based on preliminary numbers provided by the Burbank Police Department which have since changed.
This article was originally published on Feb. 1 at 5:05 p.m.