Sick Of Theft, Criminals Vandalize Cars at LAX

LOS ANGELES -- Property crimes at Los Angeles International Airport decreased last year, but vehicle vandalism jumped 44 percent, an Airport Police sergeant said Friday.

Property crimes -- including thefts -- dropped by 8.6 percent in 2008 to 802, compared to 878 the previous year, said Airport Police Sgt. Jim Holcomb.

However, vandalism to vehicles increased to 62 last year compared to 43 in 2007.

More than 7.6 million vehicles are parked at LAX a year, and efforts are being made to increase patrols of parking areas by officers on Segways, said Airport Police Chief George Centeno.

No murders, rapes or kidnappings occurred at the airport either year, according to Airport Police.

Five aggravated assaults occurred in 2008, one more than the previous year; and there were two robberies in each year, Holcomb said.

"The total of seven crimes against persons is remarkably low, considering nearly 209,000 travelers, visitors and airport-wide workers pass through LAX on an average day," said Airport Police Chief George Centeno.


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Centeno credited the crime drop to aggressive patrols and undercover efforts by authorities.

And Centeno cited a "significant cooperative effort" among Airport Police, the Los Angeles Police Department, airline operators and luggage vendors, coordinated in monthly crime control meetings.

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