Though crime generally appeared to remain flat in Burbank from September to October, reports of aggravated assault more than doubled, while those of burglaries decreased by half.
Recently released data from the Burbank Police Department on reports of “index crimes,” or major incidents that are often used to estimate crime rates, show a total of 201 reports in October, compared to 204 in September.
Nearly all types of crimes stayed steady between the two months, with the exception of two: aggravated assaults rose from seven in September to 15 in October, while burglaries dropped from 25 to 12 during the same period.
“Crime statistics fluctuate from month to month. I have no direct knowledge of anything specific that led to the decline in burglaries and/or the increase in aggravated assaults,” said BPD Sgt. Derek Green in an email.
In one incident on Oct. 10, Burbank police received a report of an assault in the 1500 block of Pass Avenue at about 5:25 p.m. An investigation determined that a father and his adult son were in an argument, with the father allegedly striking his son with a baseball bat, according to Green. The son received only a minor injury.
Officers arrested the father, a 67-year-old Burbank man, on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon. Green explained that he has since been released from custody and that formal charges are still pending.
While the number of aggravated assault reports this year through October, 100, was higher than that of the same period in 2019, 83, total crimes have dropped compared to previous years. There were 2,164 reported index crimes through October, the lowest through that month since at least 2011 — the furthest back that BPD reports crime data on the department’s website.
And Burbank is not the only city to see a rise in aggravated assault reports. Crime in Los Angeles has generally dipped this year compared to last year, according to Los Angeles Police Department data. But some incidents, including homicides, aggravated assaults and thefts or attempted thefts of motor vehicles have seen increases.
Some academics have suggested that property crime drops in many cities nationwide are attributable to social distancing and stay-at-home orders during the COVID-19 pandemic.
One odd report stood out in October’s arrest logs: On Oct. 25, a witness reported seeing a man dressed in a Batman costume throwing a rock at an external window on the Holiday Inn, shattering the pane.
The next morning, according to Lt. Claudio Losacco of the BPD, officers responded to a report of a theft at the Ralphs on West Victory Boulevard, finding that the 43-year-old North Hollywood man accused of the theft was also dressed as Batman. Officers determined that he was the same individual who allegedly broke the window.
The Ralphs staff did not wish to prosecute the man for the alleged theft, Losacco added, though he was booked on suspicion of felony vandalism because of the hotel’s broken window.