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Car thefts, assaults on the rise in Burbank

But robberies are down by nearly 50% over same period last year.

July 23, 2013|By Alene Tchekmedyian, alene.tchekmedyian@latimes.com

Violent and property crimes dropped 5% in Burbank through June of this year when compared to the same period last year, reports show.

Police attribute the trend for the first half of the year to "predictive policing," or deploying resources to areas with higher rates of crime as a preventive measure.

"We're able to see where crime is trending," said Burbank Police Capt. Denis Cremins. "We share that information so everybody looks at the problem situation from a particular angle."

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Robberies were down nearly 50% through June, according to the mid-year report released by the Burbank Police Department. Through June of last year, police reported 60 robberies, which dropped to 31 over the same period this year.

Aggravated assault, meanwhile, jumped 25%, from 44 incidents reported through June last year, to 55 this year.

While burglary and theft reports together dropped 5% — from 1,129 incidents last year to 1,070 this year — there was an uptick in car thefts. Through June of last year, 92 car thefts were reported. That number jumped to 110 for the same period this year.

Officer-initiated activity was up 12%, from 15,713 incidents through last June to 17,644 this year, records show.

"The ideal is to prevent crime. The second best is to deter it — if somebody's thinking about it maybe they'll see a police car and think, 'I'll go somewhere else,'" Cremins said. "We're trying to be proactive rather than reactive."

Meanwhile, calls for service through June this year were down 2% from 22,224 calls through June of last year. Response times to high-priority calls this June averaged 3 minutes, 41 seconds — down from 4 minutes, 13 seconds the month before.

Police also reported a 41% drop in graffiti, which officials attribute to enforcement efforts and education.

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Follow Alene Tchekmedyian on Google+ and on Twitter: @atchek.

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