WEST SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — New numbers show West Sacramento is seeing a notable spike in crime within the past few months.
“We’ve been up and down the last two years, remarkably, so now we are experiencing an increase in both violent and property crime,” said West Sacramento Police Chief Tom McDonald.
Residents are noticing the increase.
“Beginning of the year I think he got his car stolen, then this guy got his suburban stolen,” said Steve Morgan who says two cars were taken off his street. “They also stole my wife’s garage door opener. That’s the last thing they got because I didn’t lock the door. You’ve got to lock everything up no matter what, period.”
The police chief says that’s exactly what they’re seeing an increase of, in crimes of opportunity.
So how much has crime increased in West Sacramento? So far this year the number of robberies and vehicle thefts have increased 35 percent and aggravated assaults are up 28 percent.
The chief says while the increased percentage in crimes may seem high, compared to the actual numbers it’s relatively low.
“The trends that we are seeing is they are crimes of opportunity, overwhelmingly,” McDonald said. “One of the areas would show robbery, but actually a good recollection shows 25 percent of them are shoplifting where there’s been physical force.”
There are two categories driving the increase in violent crime: Robbery (an increase of 35 percent, or 12 incidents) and aggravated assaults (an increase of 28 percent, or 13 incidents).
Similarly, there are two contributing drivers to property crime: Larceny-theft (an increase of 26 percent, or 107 incidents) and motor vehicle theft (an increase of 34 percent, or 35 incidents).
The chief says what is also noteworthy this year to the department is that they’re not seeing any patterns or trends associated with the time of day or even geography.
The department has tried to also reach out to the public through forums and local businesses on how to protect themselves from becoming victims.
“I feel very confident in our efforts to utilize the efforts that we do have effectively and efficiently,” he said.
The crime increase came at a time when the department was experiencing labor issues with officers, including protests over low pay outside city hall.
There’s a sales tax increase initiative on the November ballot. If it passes it could help raise money to hire and retain highly qualified officers.