FBI report: Crime rates increased across San Diego area in first half of 2012

SAN DIEGO - Property crime rates went up in the half-dozen largest municipalities in the San Diego area over the first half of 2012, while violent offenses increased in all but two of them, the FBI reported Monday.

In the city of San Diego, the rate of violent crime – murder, non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault – rose by 9.5 percent between Jan. 1 and June 30 of last year, as compared with the comparable period in 2011. The uptick was largely due to the number of aggravated assaults (155), forcible rapes (42) and robberies (38), according to the FBI.

Likewise, property crime -- burglary, larceny and auto theft -- increased 7.95 percent in the county's namesake city during the first six months of 2012. The change stemmed from the tally of larceny offenses (786) and stolen vehicles (343).

In Chula Vista, conversely, the violent crime rate dipped by 16 percent due to a decrease in aggravated assaults (53). The property crime rate, though, increased 1.8 percent because of higher numbers of auto thefts (104) and burglaries (85).

In Oceanside, meanwhile, the rate of violent crime went up by 9.63 percent as a result of an increase in aggravated assaults (43). The property crime rate rose as well, by 4.88 percent, due to more vehicle thefts (84).

Over the same period, Escondido's violent-crime rate increased 33 percent because of increases in aggravated assaults (45) and robberies (25), while the property crime rate grew by 19 percent due to increases in burglaries (180), larceny offenses (70) and auto thefts (52).

In Carlsbad, the rate of violent crime climbed by 73 percent amid increases in aggravated assaults (45) and forcible rapes (11). The property crime rate increased 8.14 percent due to increases in burglaries (35) and larcenies (45).

For its part, El Cajon saw a 24 percent downswing in violent crime in the first half of 2012, thanks to decreases in aggravated assaults (34) and robberies (25). The property crime rate, however, increased by 6.4 percent due to a higher number of larceny offenses (87), as compared with the comparable period a year earlier, the FBI reported.

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