The Crosstown Crime Book: February 2024

Gun violence in Los Angeles climbs slightly, and cars keep disappearing

Illustration of a police folder with a phone and cigarette


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 February.


As 2024 began, law enforcement leaders and elected officials were touting a drop in violent crime in the city of Los Angeles. That may prove to be short-lived: The first two months of the year have brought an increase in gun violence.


There were 108 reports of victims shot in February, up from 90 in the same month last year, according to LAPD data. The current figure is also more than double the 52 people shot in February 2019.


Bar chart of victims shot reports in the month of February, 2019_2024


Shortly before his retirement, Chief Michel Moore told the Los Angeles Police Commission, “We have seen an increase in gang-related street violence between opposing factions in our neighborhoods.” He added that intervention workers were dispatched “in an effort to quell the disputes and also overcome rumors in an effort to see this violence does not continue.”


According to LAPD Compstat data, there were 219 victims shot in the period from Jan. 1–March 2. That represents a 14.7% increase over the same time in 2023.


Line chart of victims shot in the city of Los Angeles from May 2023 through February 2024


There were 50 homicides during that period, according to Compstat figures. In 2023 the count was 43.


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According to Compstat tracking, robbery is also up in early 2024, rising 13.8% over the comparable period last year. 


There were 659 robbery reports in February, according to police data. That represents a 12.8% increase over the same month in 2023. However, the figure is below the level in February of previous years.


Horizontal bar chart of robberies in the month of February from 2019 through 2024


Dense Downtown recorded 73 robberies last month, more than any other neighborhood in the city. The next highest counts were in Historic South-Central (27), and Boyle Heights and Koreatown (both 22).


Crime on wheels

Los Angeles continues to endure a high number of vehicle thefts. That includes a new trend in which key fobs of Camaros have been “cloned,” according to the LAPD.


The department fielded a total of 1,978 car theft reports last month. That is 7.1% higher than in February 2023.


It is a 52% jump over the 1,302 vehicles reported stolen in February 2020 (also a leap year).


Bar chart of vehicle thefts in the city of Los Angeles in February from 2019 through 2024


One positive turn is a decline in vehicle break-ins, which is the most common crime in the city. In early 2022 there were more than 3,000 reports per month, the highest total in the city in at least a decade. Counts have since come down.


In February there were 2,223 reports of car break-ins. That is the lowest monthly tally since April 2021.


Line chart of monthly vehicle break-ins in the city of Los Angeles from Jan. 2023 through Feb. 2024


Police recently made some headway. On March 6, the LAPD announced that a 55-year-old man had been arrested in connection with a series of vehicle break-ins in West Los Angeles. Thomas Gardner has been charged with 16 felony counts by the L.A. County District Attorney’s office. Authorities allege Gardner had been breaking into cars parked in underground garages, and then attempting to resell stolen property including golf clubs and designer sunglasses.


Although the LAPD recently has announced other arrests as part of a task force cracking down on retail crime, shoplifting incidents remain historically high. Last month there were 898 reports.


There were 84 incidents in Downtown. The second-highest count in February was the 57 reports in Sawtelle. The small Westside neighborhood has seen a surge in shoplifting in the last six months.


Although below the 1,000-plus incidents in each of the three previous months, the 898 citywide reports exceeds the total in every February in each of the last five years.


Bar chart of shoplifting reports in the month of February in the city of Los Angeles from 2019 through 2024


According to police data, 108 of the incidents last month—or 12% of the total—were classified as grand theft, meaning merchandise worth more than $950 was stolen.


How we did it: We examined publicly available crime data from the Los Angeles Police Department from Feb. 1, 2019–Feb. 29, 2024. 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