Richmond police turn attention to stemming property crime - Contra Costa Times

RICHMOND -- Bloodshed commands the attention, but the average Richmond resident is far more likely to have his house or car burglarized than fall victim to street violence. With the long-standing problem of violent crime on a multiyear retreat, Richmond police leaders are turning their attention to more common problems: nonviolent car thefts and household burglaries. "There was a time when we just didn't have the resources to do much with these property crimes," Richmond police Chief Chris Magnus said. While homicides have plunged -- last year's total of 18 was one of Richmond's lowest on record -- nonviolent property crime remains persistently high. A total of 1,153 residential burglaries were reported in Richmond last year, an average of more than three every day, with concentrations highest in the neighborhood north of Macdonald Avenue, between 23rd Street and San Pablo Avenue. At the same time, Richmond recorded 577 auto burglaries and 1,884 stolen cars, both big spikes over 2011. But Magnus said high property crime will not go unchecked. Residents in other area cities with departments strained for resources report burglaries online, a common practice in Oakland, where calls about a burglary not in progress routinely wait hours before police can arrive. Source: