Crime holds steady in Los Banos

By Corey Pride / Cpride@losbanosenterprise.comFebruary 1, 2013 

Crime was up less than 1 percent in Los Banos last year, falling in nearly every major category according to a Police Department report released this week.

In 2012, there were 1,351 major crimes reported, up from 1,349 in 2011. The two additional incidents constitute a 0.15 percent increase.

The data are sent to the FBI, which chronicles major crimes, including homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft.

"I'm pleased to see the decreases this year. Crimes of violence are always the most troubling," said Police Chief Gary Brizzee. Positive changes in those areas are important to me."

Larceny was the only category that rose in Los Banos in 2012. Last year there were 677 larcenies compared to 775 in 2011, an increase of 14.4 percent.

"This is one area we really need the public's help. Valuables should not be left in cars or unsecured on your property. Potential thieves look for easy opportunities and often times the property you pay a lot of money for will be sold for mere dollars on the streets," Cmdr. Ray Reyna Jr. said.

Burglaries decreased 14.3 percent this year from 397 to 340. Robberies also fell from 29 to 24. Motor vehicle thefts were down by 11.3 percent in 2012, from 106 to 94. Los Banos is surrounded by two highways and an interstate, and in a region with three cities consistently in the Top 10 for car thefts: Fresno, Stockton and Modesto.

There were fewer violent crimes in 2012. Aggravated assaults declined from 129 to 117. There were no rapes reported in 2012. The city recorded eight rapes in 2011.

There was one homicide in 2012, down from the three recorded the previous year. The homicide occurred last January and involved a man and his roommate.

The Police Department believes the public's involvement is responsible for curbing the increase in crime.

Crime can be reported through anonymous emails, telephone tip- lines and Crime Stoppers, which pays money for tips. The department has also joined several social media groups such as Nixel, Facebook and Twitter as a way of reaching the public with important crime information and news releases.

Enterprise reporter Corey Pride can be reached by phone at 388-6563 or cpride@losbanosenterprise.com.

Enterprise reporter Corey Pride can be reached by phone at 388-6563 or cpride@losbanosenterprise.com.

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