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AB 109 to Blame for 2012 Long Beach Property Crime Rate Jump?

By Joseph Low on January 25, 2013

According to the Long Beach Press-Telegram, the number of property crimes soared in 2012 as the result of Assembly Bill (AB) 109, which allowed for the early release of non-violent inmates. Many Long Beach police officers consider the bill a prominent factor in the spike of property crimes.

Law enforcement concedes that a number of factors may have contributed to the large increase in property crime offenses, including the area’s still struggling economy, but maintains that the thousands of inmates released before their sentences were complete is a main factor.

Garage burglaries, car thefts, and home burglaries increased 19 percent, which increased the overall category of property crime by 10 percent, according to Long Beach Police Department statistics. The increase in property crime was not the only change in 2012, however. Violent crime, conversely, was the lowest it has been in 30 years in 2012.

At The Law Firm of Joseph H. Low IV, experienced Long Beach theft defense lawyer Joseph Low recognizes that any crime increase is disheartening, but statistics can be misleading.

According to the news article, police department budget limitations forced authorities to focus their resources on one area of crime during 2012, which was understandably violent crime. It is perhaps the fact that resources were focused on violent crime rather than property crime that also contributed to the increase in property offenses. There are no statistics to show how many inmates, released early after the passing of AB 109, may have been arrested for property crimes in 2012 and so assigning such blame to the bill and those non-violent offenders may be unfounded.

It may be natural for law enforcement to look to those previously convicted of crimes when offenses are committed, but such bias can result in the unlawful prosecution of innocent individuals. If you have been accused of a crime in Long Beach, regardless of whether you have been previously convicted or not, attorney Joseph Low can help you present your side of the story effectively. To discuss your particular circumstances with Mr. Low, call us for a consultation today at (888) 454-5569. Your consultation is free, so you have nothing to lose.

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