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Crime rate falls 1% in 2010

Burbank made it through 2010 without a single homicide, according to year-end figures released this week by the Police Department.

And despite a sharp increase in the reported incidents of prostitution, the overall crime rate fell 1%during Police Chief Scott LaChasse’s first year in Burbank.

The lack of homicides in 2010 came after a decline from two in 2008 to one in 2009, according to the Police Department’s crime report to the FBI.

The number of arrests for prostitution or vice-related offenses was more than eight times the number in 2009, a trend LaChasse attributed to an increased emphasis of enforcement by Burbank police.


Related arrests rose from four to 33 last year.

The arrests were part of a concentrated enforcement operation at local hotels — with proximity to Bob Hope Airport and cheaper room rates — that targeted narcotics, gangs and prostitution activity. The Quality Inn, the Extended Stay America Hotel on Empire Avenue and the Ramada Burbank Airport on North San Fernando Boulevard are often used, police said.

Despite a 6% uptick in the number of thefts, or about 101 more incidents from the previous year, other serious offenses dropped, including a 23% decrease in aggravated-assault calls.

Automobile thefts also declined 19%, statistics show, but many of the thefts and burglaries were personal belongings from vehicles, LaChasse said.


“This appears to be a trend across Southern California,” said LaChasse, who cited GPS systems and third-row seats as easy items to sell.

“One of the interesting things we discovered was that arrestees are imported from outside Burbank,” LaChasse said. “The suspects were not necessarily homegrown, but people who come to Burbank with the intent to steal here.”

Calls for service in Burbank increased by 7%, with an additional 2,677 calls, and officer-initiated incidents were down by 19%.

Burbank police are working to determine the reason for the increased calls and hope to identify problem locations, LaChasse said.

The department is also working with outside agencies, such as Los Angeles County Adult Protective Services, to determine why there has been a 20% increase over the last few years in the number of people committed for psychological problems, attempted suicides and sick-care calls.