The Crosstown Crime Book: September 2023

Homicides remain below pandemic highs, though car thefts are again elevated

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With the Crime Book, Crosstown examines monthly statistics and trends in criminal activity, using publicly available Los Angeles Police Department data. Here is how things looked in September.


This summer, Los Angeles experienced some dramatic drops in violent crime. There was a bit of a reversal in September, though killings and gun violence remained below the heights seen during the pandemic.


According to LAPD data, there were 120 gunshot victims in the city in September. That far exceeds the 83 in August, and continues a year with peaks and valleys.


Line chart of monthly gunshot victims in Los Angeles


More than one-fourth of the victims during the month were struck in just five neighborhoods. According to police data, there were eight people shot in Wilmington and Florence. There were six victims each in Downtown, Green Meadows and San Pedro.


There were 906 shooting victims in the city in the first nine months of the year, according to LAPD Compstat data. While that marks a 15.8% decline from the same period in 2022, there is more gun activity than in 2019, the year before the coronavirus.


“​​We still have far too much gun violence in this city,” LAPD Chief Michel Moore told the Los Angeles Police Commission at its Oct. 3 meeting. He added that while overall violent crime is down, “the instances of violent crimes involving firearms continues to be higher today than our pre-COVID numbers.”


[Get crime, housing and other stats about where you live with the Crosstown Neighborhood Newsletter]


The most significant year-over-year shift is in homicides, propelled by a steep decline in murders in July and August. From Jan. 1–Sept. 30, there were 235 people killed in the city, representing a 24.4% reduction from 2022. 


There were 32 murders in September. That is unchanged from last year, but is below counts in that month in 2020 and 2021.


Bar chart of homicides in Los Angeles in September


As Crosstown recently reported, robberies from Jan. 1–Sept. 30 are down 10% from the same time last year. However, there were more incidents involving firearms last month than in previous Septembers.



Horizontal line chart of robberies with guns in Los Angeles in September

Crimes and cars

There were 2,223 car-theft reports in September. It is the fourth consecutive month with more than 2,000 stolen vehicles.


Car thefts began rising with the onset of the pandemic, and despite occasional dips, have never approached pre-COVID levels. In September 2019, there were 1,207 stolen vehicles.


Bar chart of car thefts in Los Angeles in September over six years


Once again last month, auto-filled Downtown was the epicenter of car thefts in Los Angeles, with 139 reports. The next highest totals were the 83 in Westlake and the 70 each in Boyle Heights and Koreatown.


There was some positive news related to automobile crimes. In September, the LAPD tallied 2,259 reports of burglary or theft from a vehicle. That is the lowest monthly total since the spring of 2021. It also marks a 28% decline from December, when the city recorded more than 3,100 car break-ins.


Line chart of car break-ins by month in Los Angeles


September brought a dip in another key property crime category: shoplifting. There were 867 incidents during the month. That is the lowest total since February.


There were 56 shoplifting reports in Downtown in September, the highest count of any neighborhood in the city. That was followed by the 53 incidents in Sawtelle and the 49 in Westchester.


In September, an ongoing decline in identity theft reports continued. After a year-long surge that began in early 2022, monthly counts have finally approached pre-COVID levels.


Line chart of identity thefts by months in Los Angeles


Last month there were 599 identity theft reports in the city. That is a 63% decrease from September 2022.


How we did it: We examined publicly available crime data from the Los Angeles Police Department from Sept. 1, 2018–Sept. 30, 2023. We also examined LAPD Compstat data. Learn more about our data here.


LAPD data only reflects 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. 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.


Have questions about our data or want to know more? Write to us at