Reports of Crime Barely Increase Overall

A Burbank crime chart shows little change between Jan. and June 2020 to 2021

Despite a recent rise in major crimes reported to the Burbank Police Department, the number of reports made in the first half of this year changed little from the figure for the same period in 2020.

BPD data shows there were 236 “Part 1 index crimes” reported in June, an increase of 33.3% month on month. The leap appears to be partially due to the higher number of thefts, 183, compared with May’s total, 139. Theft is by far the most common Part 1 index crime in Burbank.

However, from January to June this year, the BPD counted 1,347 reports across all incident types. That’s only slightly higher than 2020’s total for that period: 1,342. Reported Part 1 index crimes for the first six months of the year have been on a downward trend since 2017, BPD data shows, when the department noted nearly 1,600 incidents.

Part 1 index crimes consist of seven major offenses — murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, theft and auto theft — commonly measured by law enforcement agencies to gauge trends in their service areas.

There were few significant changes between this May and June in the number of Part 1 index crimes reported, apart from the increase in thefts and a drop in aggravated assaults from 22 to 14. The number of auto thefts — which includes attempted vehicle thefts — increased from 14 in May to 26 in June.

Reports of robbery also rose to eight in June from five in May.

Though the total of Part 1 index crimes so far this year is roughly equal to the level reported last year, violent crimes have increased by about 36.5%. The BPD counted 116 incidents in the first six months of 2021, up from 85 reports — primarily aggravated assaults — from the same period a year ago. The department tallied 87 reports of violent crimes from January through June 2019 and 129 for the equivalent period in 2018.

More recent crime reports have included an alleged carjacking attempt. According to Sgt. Emil Brimway of the BPD, a driver told police that two men approached him while he was sitting in his vehicle in the 1300 block of North California Street on July 5.

When one of the men reached into his car, the vehicle owner told police, the owner drove away, fearing they were trying to steal his vehicle. One of the men then allegedly threw a bottle, striking the car as it left.

Brimway added that officers soon found two men matching the description of the pair provided by the driver. He said police detained both men, booking one — a 22-year-old Glendale resident — on suspicion of carjacking, assault with a deadly weapon and vandalism. The other man was released, Brimway explained, “pending further investigation.”

The Glendale man was released on $100,000 bond, Brimway said, and is scheduled to appear in court on a later date.

Carjackings are relatively rare in Burbank, according to data provided by the BPD, but one has occurred or been attempted nearly every month this year for a total of six carjackings or attempted carjackings so far. There were two such incidents last year and one in 2019.