Crime scene tape
Crime scene tape across a sidewalk in Lemon Grove where a 15-year-old boy was shot to death in June. Courtesy OnScene.TV

Violent crimes in San Diego County rose by2% in the first half of 2022 to the highest level in 10 years, but property crime continued to trend down, SANDAG reported on Thursday.

The annual mid-year report from the agency’s Criminal Justice Research Division showed 6,182 violent crimes, including 51 homicides, 475 rapes, 1,355 robberies and 4,301 aggravated assaults in the first six months of the year.

There were a total of 26,448 property crimes, down 2%, with 5,678 vehicle thefts, 3,867 burglaries and 16,903 larcenies ranging from shoplifting to bicycle theft.

SANDAG calculated the mid-year crime rates at 3.73 violent crimes and 15.95 property crimes per 1,000 residents.

Average crime rates nationwide are considerably higher. The latest complete data from the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting System, showed a violent crime rate of 6.6 and property crime rate of 19.6 per 1,000 residents in 2020.

“While these mid-year crime statistics are still relatively low compared to historic highs, we are seeing some increases that the community should be aware of,” said Dr. Cynthia Burke, SANDAG’s senior director of data science.

“We know that only about two in every five violent crimes and one in every three property crimes are reported to law enforcement,” she added. “The cost of victimization is more than monetary, and it is important that we all work together as our communities face a number of different challenges coming out of the pandemic, which has affected us all in myriad ways”.

Other notable findings in the SANDAG report include:

  • In homicide cases where motive could be determined, the most common motive was an argument (63%).
  • 16% of robberies and 15% of aggravated assaults involved the use of a firearm.
  • Reported domestic violence was down 4%.
  • Motor vehicle theft increased 4%, the second highest number since 2012.
  • While reported larcenies were down overall, theft of motor vehicle parts was up 12% compared to the first six months of 2021.
  • Burglaries increased by 10% in the first half of 2022, resulting from a 19% increase in non-residential burglaries and a 2% decrease in residential burglaries.

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.