Reports of Serious Crimes Continue to Decline

A chart shows burbank part 1 index crimes decreasing for the january through may period from 2017 to 2021
Data: Burbank Police Department

Reports of significant crimes in Burbank continued to fall from April to May, according to recent Burbank Police Department data, though aggravated assault reports spiked.

Index-crime reports fell from 208 in April to 177 in May, according to the BPD — a 15% decrease. It was the lowest monthly total so far this year, which began with 277 such reports in January. In fact, the total was the lowest noted since April 2020, when the BPD reported 165 incidents.

Total index crime reports have been falling since March 2021, when 234 incidents were reported.

From January to May this year,  1,111 index crimes were reported, just over the 1,101 for the same period in 2020, but fewer than the 1,162 reports in 2019 and the 1,212 in 2018.

Index crimes consist of seven major incident types that law enforcement agencies commonly use to measure trends over time. These categories include thefts, auto thefts, murders, robberies and burglaries.

While thefts — by far the most common incident type locally — dipped from 155 in April to 139 in May, aggravated assaults surged from six to 22. Through May this year, there were 54 aggravated assaults reported, up from 45 for the same period in 2020.

The number of aggravated assaults for a year’s first five months has been increasing since 2019, when there were 35 reported. In 2018, there were 56 for that period.

But totals of aggravated assaults in Burbank for each full calendar year suggest a downward trend starting in 2017. That year, there were 147 incidents reported, while there were 112 in 2020.

Auto thefts fell from 26 this April to 14 in May — the lowest reported for a single month since October 2019. Burglaries rose from 18 in April to 24 in May, while robberies inched upward from three to five. There was one rape reported in May, with none reported in April.

TINHORN FLATS INCIDENTS
RESULT IN ARRESTS

Not recorded in the Burbank index crime statistics are a handful of May arrests near Tinhorn Flats Saloon and Grill. The controversial local restaurant, which was recently evicted by its property owner, has attracted large weekend demonstrations organized by protesters from across Los Angeles County who support its defiance of health orders meant to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

BPD officers have often monitored the protests, and in late May arrested a number of individuals — both participants and opponents — over incidents related to the demonstrations.

On May 22, officers arrested two women near Tinhorn Flats at about 5:30 p.m. BPD spokesman Sgt. Emil Brimway said the women were “involved in a verbal argument over political matters” with a man when one of the women, a 21-year-old from North Hollywood, pushed him. The other woman, a 26-year-old Van Nuys resident, pulled a knife and walked toward the man, according to Brimway. The spokesman said the two parties separated without further incident, and the man was not injured.

The first woman was arrested on suspicion of battery while the other was arrested on suspicion of exhibiting a deadly weapon, Brimway said. Both were cited and released, and were expected to appear in court at later dates.

On May 29, the BPD also arrested three pro-Tinhorn Flats protesters for allegedly remaining within the fenced area around the restaurant despite being told to leave at about 3:45 p.m. The three — a 43-year-old L.A. resident, a 52-year-old Oxnard resident and a 55-year-old Azusa resident — were arrested on suspicion of refusing to leave a declared unlawful assembly and delaying/obstructing a police officer, according to Lt. Derek Green of the BPD.

It was not clear how the protesters entered the fenced area, which is supposed to be locked.