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CITIES STILL AMONG SAFEST PERCENTAGES UP, BUT CRIME INCIDENTS LOW.



Byline: Andrea Cavanaugh Staff Writer

Violent crime rose 56 percent in Moorpark and 19 percent in Simi Valley Simi Valley (sē`mē, sĭm`ē), city (1990 pop. 100,217), Ventura co., SW Calif. in an oil, fruit, and farm region; laid out 1887, inc. 1969.  last year, but the communities are still considered two of the safest cities in America, according to according to
prep.
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

3.
 recently released crime statistics.

Although no homicides were committed in Moorpark during the past two years, the Years, The

the seven decades of Eleanor Pargiter’s life. [Br. Lit.: Benét, 1109]

See : Time
 city saw a 200 percent increase in rapes, from one report in 2002 to three in 2003, and a 250 percent increase in robberies, from two incidents in 2002 to seven last year.

City Councilman Keith Millhouse pointed out that despite the increase, Moorpark had the lowest per-capita crime rate in Ventura County, with 10.65 crimes reported per 1,000 residents, compared with 16.31 in Thousand Oaks Thousand Oaks, residential city (1990 pop. 104,352), Ventura co., S Calif., in a farm area; inc. 1964. Avocados, citrus, vegetables, strawberries, and nursery products are grown.  and 17.46 in Simi Valley.

``They're a little bit misleading,'' Millhouse said of the crime statistics. ``We don't like to see crime increase, but nobody should go into a panic.''

According to statistics released by the Ventura County Sheriff's Department The Ventura County Sheriff's Department (VCSD) provides law enforcement for the unincorporated areas of Ventura County, California, USA, as well as several cities within the county. The cities that VCSD serves are Camarillo, Fillmore, Moorpark, Ojai, and Thousand Oaks. , aggravated assaults A person is guilty of aggravated assault if he or she attempts to cause serious bodily injury to another or causes such injury purposely, knowingly, or recklessly under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life; or attempts to cause or purposely or  increased in Moorpark by 33 percent, from 24 to 32 incidents, residential burglaries rose 4 percent, commercial burglaries increased 12 percent, grand thefts rose 74 percent, and petty theft reports increased by 39 percent.

City officials noted that the surge in grand theft reports coincided with the opening last year of the Moorpark Marketplace, and could be attributable to shoplifting Ask a Lawyer

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 arrests from stores such as Target and Kohl's.

Auto thefts decreased in Moorpark by 6 percent, and arson arson, at common law, the malicious and willful burning of the house of another. Originally, it was an offense against the security of habitation rather than against property rights.  cases dropped from three in 2002 to two cases last year.

In Simi Valley, crime rates rose in all but one of eight categories, according to Police Department statistics.

Two homicides were committed in the city last year compared with none the year before.

Rapes increased 128 percent, from seven reports in 2002 to 16 last year, and robberies rose 73 percent, from 26 incidents in 2002 to 45 last year. Although crime rates have increased in Simi Valley and throughout the county, Simi Valley remains relatively crime-free, said Sgt. Joe May, a spokesman for the Simi Valley Police Department The Simi Valley Police Department (SVPD) is the police department of the city of Simi Valley, California. The department currently has over 120 sworn officers, and more than 65 support personnel[1]. The department has a patrol area that covers over 39 square miles. .

``While the percentages appear to be high, the number of incidents are very low,'' May said. ``Simi Valley is a very safe place to live and work.''

Burglaries increased by 31 percent, from 355 in 2002 to 466 last year, and car thefts rose 26 percent, from 163 two years ago to 205 last year.

Thefts increased by 9 percent, and arson cases rose 10 percent. The aggravated assault rate dipped 3 percent.

Violent crimes rose 8 percent last year in the area served by the Ventura County Sheriff's Department, including Moorpark, but overall crime rates remained relatively unchanged.

Homicides increased by 600 percent, from two in 2002 to 14 in 2003, according to statistics released March 4. Aggravated assaults rose 9 percent, to 477 last year, compared with 438 the year before.

Sheriff Bob Brooks attributed the increase to a surge in gang and drug activity throughout the county.

``When you have either victims or suspects involved in gangs or drugs, it definitely contributes to the problem,'' Brooks said. ``It certainly is the first place you look.''

Rape and robbery rates dropped slightly during the same period. Rape reports fell 4 percent, from 46 cases in 2002 to 44 cases last year. Robbery reports fell 2 percent, from 95 in 2002 to 93 last year.

The overall nonviolent crime rate was virtually unchanged. Arson increased 40 percent, from 72 cases in 2002 to 101 cases last year. Burglary burglary, at common law, the breaking and entering of a dwelling house of another at night with the intent to commit a felony, whether the intent is carried out or not.  reports rose 5 percent, and auto theft cases increased by 8 percent. Petty theft reports fell by 9 percent.

The Sheriff's Department provides contract police service to the cities of Moorpark, Thousand Oaks, Camarillo, Fillmore and Ojai and patrols the unincorporated areas In law, an unincorporated area is a region of land that is not a part of any municipality. To "incorporate" in this context means to form a municipal corporation, i.e., a city or town with its own government.  of the county.

Andrea Cavanaugh, (805) 583-7602

andrea.cavanaugh(at)dailynews.com
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Statistical Data Included
Date:Mar 14, 2004
Words:635
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