What to Know
- The number of crimes in which homeless individuals were listed as suspects increased by nearly 50 percent in the city of LA in 2018.
- LAPD officials said most concerning were the disproportionate number of homeless individuals listed as suspects in physical attacks.
- The descriptions of perpetrators in the reports as homeless are not conclusive.
The number of crimes in which homeless individuals were listed as suspects increased by nearly 50 percent in the city of Los Angeles in 2018.
Crime data provided by the Los Angeles Police Department showed there were 8,906 crime reports between Jan. 1 and Dec. 1 this year in which a homeless person was listed as the suspect, compared with 5,976 for the same time period in 2017.
LAPD officials said most concerning were the disproportionate number of homeless individuals listed as suspects in physical attacks that cause serious injuries, described as, "aggravated assaults," in police records.
People described as homeless were listed as suspects in 4.3 percent of all crime reported in Los Angeles during the same period in 2018, they were listed as suspects in 12.6 percent of aggravated assaults, the crime records showed.
The descriptions of perpetrators in the reports as homeless are not conclusive, as they depend on the perception of the person reporting the crime, according to city and other officials. But the LAPD said Monday it was concerned about the increase.
"Every person who lives in Los Angeles or walks our streets should feel safe in this city, and Mayor Garcetti will not tolerate violent crime anywhere or by anyone," said Garcetti spokesman Alex Comisar. "He wants people who commit these horrible, shameful acts to be arrested, held accountable, and prosecuted to the full extent of the law."
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A portion of the increase was thought to be the result of more thorough crime reporting, officials told NBC4. Officers were directed in the second quarter of 2018 to make more detailed statistical reports on incidents that involved people experiencing homelessness, said LAPD Commander Dominic Choi. Special marks were added to some reports beginning in the third quarter of the year to further assist in assembling accurate statistics.
The LA Police Commission was expected to be briefed about the factors and the LAPD's plans to address the increase in the coming weeks, officials said. Last week a man described as a transient living in downtown LA was charged with attempted murder for allegedly pushing a pedestrian into the path of an oncoming truck on 3rd Street.
Well-known tailor Albert Davtyan was hit by the truck and has been in the hospital recovering from critical injuries, including a collapsed lung and several shattered ribs, family and friends told NBC4. The pushing attack was recorded by a nearby business' security video system.
Court records show Garrett Boldt, 29, was on probation for an assault with a deadly weapon case when he was arrested last Wednesday afternoon for the pushing attack. The Los Angeles Homeless Services Agency, which conducts an annual homeless count, reported a 6 percent decline in the number of people experiencing homelessness between 2017 and 2018.