Newport Beach City Council establishes ad hoc committee to address residential crime

The Newport Beach Police Department.
The Newport Beach City Council formed an ad hoc committee Tuesday to discuss and address residential crime throughout the city. Authorities say that this is a regional issue that the department is working to address.
(File Photo)

Residential burglaries and crimes are becoming increasingly concerning to the residents of Newport Beach, who have raised the alarm to sitting members of the City Council as well as to candidates in next month’s election.

In response, the City Council voted this week to form a citizens’ ad hoc committee to address those issues and report back to the dais with recommendations on how to help prevent or deter residential crime and burglary in the city.

While serious crime in the city dipped in 2021, according to a report Newport Beach Police Chief Jon Lewis presented to the City Council in February, residential burglaries increased by 17.2% during the same year.


A burglary occurred in the Harbor View Hills neighborhood as recently as last week when an unknown suspect accessed the residence by breaking a window at the rear of the home. The suspect ransacked the master bedroom, master bathroom, office, spare bedroom, spare bathroom and a storage room. The total value of the items taken during the intrusion is unknown.

Another burglary took place in the Back Bay community on Oct. 18, and another was reported in Newport Harbor between Oct. 17 and 18 while the residence was tented for fumigation.

“The [Newport Beach Police Department] is aware of the residential burglaries occurring in the city and throughout Orange County,” said department spokeswoman Heather Rangel. “This appears to be a regional issue that our department is addressing and combating in many ways, such as having extra officers on duty and officers actively patrolling different neighborhoods throughout Newport Beach.”

Deputy Police Chief Joe Cartwright said in February that some of the robberies involved South American theft groups that he said have a tendency to target affluent communities like Newport Beach.

In a report prepared for the agenda item Tuesday, city staff said authorities have made close to 200 arrests for residential crime and burglary over the last two years but stress that a more comprehensive approach is needed to tackle the issue.

The committee will comprise three community members who are required to be registered residents and voters of the city and have a background in criminal justice or public safety to be appointed by the mayor and later confirmed by the City Council.

The deadline to seek people for those positions will be about one week after public notices are published. The committee is expected to sunset on June 30.

“Residents have been increasingly raising their concerns about home invasions,” Mayor Kevin Muldoon said Wednesday. “With the assistance of our law enforcement, the committee will help educate residents on the latest criminal tactics used by residential burglars and how we can work together to improve the safety of our neighborhoods.”

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