The attractive affluence of Pacific Palisades mixed with its isolated geography made 2012 a wild card of a year for crime reporting, the community council learned Thursday night from the Los Angeles Police Department.
Palisades closed out 2012 with a 1.4 percent increase in crime compared to 2011, according to Senior Lead Officer Michael Moore, following the release of the city's statistics earlier this week.
"We had a residential burglary problem and a vehicle break-in problem," he said. "But, because of the community reporting suspicious things, we started making arrests of residential burglars. It virtually went away."
Moore said Palisades was up 11 percent in specific crime categories in June and then after some arrests, it fell to 8 percent by October. Through the help of community members, he said LAPD was able to catch a serial vehicle burglar involved in more than 200 alleged incidents.
"We did a remarkable job," Moore said, noting he's been on school patrols now since the LAPD and Los Angeles Unified School District response to the Newtown, CT school shooting.
For 2012, Moore said Palisades had a total of 358 Part I crimes, which includes burglaries and robberies. However, nearby Brentwood ended 2012 with 537 Part I crimes, and Bel Air and Westwood had 925 Part I crimes.
"And the numbers keep going up from there," he added, telling the council that Palisades' same geographic isolation that gives the appearence of a lack in police coverage also makes the community not as desirable for criminals to venture in.
"Some are willing to take the chance," Moore noted, "but they rely on easy access in and out. Communities next to the freeway and major roads are more likely to have an increase in crime, or a large number of crime, than those who are not."
"It's not the only factor," he added. "Part of it's just dumb luck."
View the West L.A. Division's latest statistics in the attached .pdf to this post.