Police: Bigger crimes rising

GLENDALE — Misdemeanor and infraction offenses decreased by more than 550 incidents during the first half of this year in comparison to the same period in 2007.

The offenses — which police officially call Part II crimes — fell from 4,959 in the first six months of 2007 to 4,393 in January through June 2008, according to police statistics.

The decrease in Part II crimes was attributed to an upswing in more serious crimes, according to police.

The number of serious crimes — such as aggravated assault or burglary — tends to tick upward when the economy is suffering.

These crimes, which police call Part I crimes, increased from 1,954 in the first six months in 2007 to 2,241 from January through June this year, according to the statistics.

People who usually commit smaller offenses tend to take part in more serious crimes when their stress level increases, police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.

There were 172 violent crimes — which include homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assault — in the first six months of 2007. From January through June 2008, there were 180 violent crime incidents.

Homicide, rape, aggravated assault, burglary, auto theft, auto burglary, grand theft and petty theft increased in the first six months of this year compared to the same period of 2007, according to the statistics.

The Police Department carefully monitors the crime statistics and looks for any trends or spikes in a specific offense, said Glendale police Capt. Ray Edey of Investigative Services Division.

“We watch those [crime statistics] literally every day,” Edey said.

“We pick up on things as quickly as we can.”

The statistics provide a snapshot that “sends out bells and whistles” of which crimes officers need to focus on, Edey said.

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