All crimes rise in SF in 2013 except homicides 

click to enlarge Car thefts in The City jumped from 5,339 in 2012 to 5,866 in 2013, according to just released FBI statistics. - MIKE  KOOZMIN/S.F. EXAMINER FILE PHOTO
  • Mike koozmin/S.f. Examiner file photo
  • Car thefts in The City jumped from 5,339 in 2012 to 5,866 in 2013, according to just released FBI statistics.

Crime in an increasingly crowded San Francisco is on the rise.

Despite a noticeable drop in homicides, all major crimes increased in The City in 2013, according to new data released this week from the FBI.

The FBI's Uniform Crime Reports, an important tool used by law enforcement agencies nationwide, consists of a set of major crimes that local jurisdictions are required to file with the federal government. The numbers are used by many to compare crime rates from city to city.

San Francisco -- called the safest major American city by the San Francisco Police Department -- did see a big drop in homicides in 2013, the most serious crime on the list.

Murders went from 69 in 2012 to 48 in 2013. But the rate of all other major crimes increased year over year.

There were 161 rapes reported in 2013 and 108 the year before, 4,202 robberies versus 3,484 and 2,653 aggravated assaults compared to 2,116.

Property crimes also increased. Burglaries jumped from 5,317 to 5,931, larceny and thefts from 28,242 to 36,527, car thefts from 5,339 to 5,866 and arsons from 207 to 277.

Despite the increases, the department's own 2013 annual report touted declines in violent crime.

"Although a rise in crime was noted for 2013 due to the continued increase in the theft of electronic devices, homicides and other violent criminal activity, including gun violence, decreased," the SFPD report noted.

The report went on to say that crime increases were largely linked to "the rampant theft of mobile devices.

"The theft of these devices impacted several Part 1 categories, including aggravated assaults, due to the increase in the aggressive and sometimes violent behavior of the thieves," the police report said.

The increase was also associated with more robberies and other thefts, which it linked to the state's prison realignment that sent many low-level offenders to jail instead of prison.

Increases in rape were chalked up to a new federal definition of the crime that broadens how incidents are classified.

Finally, the department noted that Police Department staffing is below the City Charter-mandated 1,971 officers.

This year is looking better for crime in San Francisco, at least when it comes to statistics used by local police. Total violent crime through July 31 is down 26 percent compared to the same time in 2013. By the same measure, property crime is flat.

This story has been updated from the print version.

About The Author

Jonah Owen Lamb

Jonah Owen Lamb

Bio:
Born and raised on a houseboat in Sausalito, Lamb has written for newspapers in New York City, Utah and the San Joaquin Valley. He was most recently an editor at the San Luis Obispo Tribune for nearly three years. He has written for The S.F. Examiner since 2013 and covers criminal justice and planning.
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