LA sees a drop in vandalism in first quarter

Los Angeles experienced fewer incidents of vandalism in the first months of 2019 over the same period in 2018

Suspects are destroying, damaging and defacing less stuff so far this year, compared to last. Or, at least, it’s being reported less often.


For the first three months of 2019, there were 4,887 reports of vandalism, a decrease of 4.5% from the first three months of 2018.


Vandalism is when someone damages another person’s property on purpose, without the consent of the owner, according to the LAPD.


It’s also one of the most commonly reported crimes in the city after stealing things from people’s cars and other thefts, according to publicly available LAPD data from 2010 – 2018.


Despite the first quarter drop, more cases of vandalism were linked to hate crimes during the first quarter of this year compared to last.


In the first quarter of 2019, there were 17 vandalism reports that were classified as hate crimes, according to the LAPD. For the first quarter of 2018, that number was 12.


For example, at 10 p.m. on Jan. 30, 2019 at the intersection of Crenshaw Blvd. and 29th St. in Jefferson Park, a suspect vandalized the car of a 33-year-old gay black male victim while using hate-related language, causing over $400 dollars worth of damage.


We publish weekly reports on hate crimes here.


There were 135 vandalism crimes linked to gangs in the first quarter of 2019, according to the LAPD’s publicly available data. For last year’s first quarter there were 134.


One incident of gang-related vandalism took place at 12:10 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2019 at a water facility on the 7800 block of N. Figueroa St. in Eagle Rock. The LAPD also noted that shots were fired during the crime.


In another gang-related crime, multiple suspects, at least one of whom was homeless or transient, graffitied a restaurant at 8:40 p.m. on Feb. 17, 2019 on the 800 block of S. Union Ave. in Westlake. The LAPD noted that at least one of them stood guard, or “used a lookout,” and they caused $400 worth of damage or more.


Downtown, Hollywood and Boyle Heights had the highest number of vandalism incidents reported for the first quarter of both 2018 and 2019, with slight decreases in Downtown and Boyle Heights. Hollywood had a slight increase.




How we did it: We examined LAPD publicly available data on reports of vandalism, including felonies and misdemeanors. For neighborhood boundaries, we rely on the borders defined by the Los Angeles Times. Learn more about our data here.

LAPD data only reflect crimes that are reported to the department, not how many crimes actually occurred. In making our calculations, we rely on the data the LAPD makes publicly available. On occasion, LAPD may update past crime reports with new information, or recategorize past reports. Those revised reports do not always automatically become part of the public database.

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