1997 Crime Statistics By City
Thursday, March 26, 1998
Much of the after-dark trouble in downtown Monterey is alcohol-related: Public drunkenness and disorderly conduct are two figures that stick out glaringly from the city's crime statistics (see chart). Other cities wish their problems were as comparatively benign.
In Salinas, for example, police don''t even keep separate figures for disorderly conduct. It''s just not important enough to warrant its own category. "When you''ve got people getting shot nearly every day, you''re not really that concerned with disorderly conduct," says Wayne Schapper, technical manager at the Salinas Police Department.
Police officers in Pacific Grove and Carmel say violent crimes are the exception in their cities, although they do exist. Lt. Carl Miller with the Pacific Grove PD says property crimes are big in his city, particularly petty theft or theft from parked vehicles, as well as burglaries. "We''re seeing an increase in automobile theft," he notes. "For a while, we saw a lot of stolen Jeeps."
Carmel also has a lot of property crime, says Carmel Detective Pete Poitras, particularly crimes involving the business community. "Forgery, bad checks, the odd embezzlement. Also burglary, theft and vandalism." Most of the non-violent crimes that occur could have been prevented, he says, but Carmel''s image of safety lulls folks into complacency.
"You just have to take a few precautions, like locking your car doors," he says. Carmel, with its 32 downtown jewelry stores, has seen a rash of crimes against traveling jewelry salesmen. Last year, he says, there were more than 100 robberies committed against traveling jewelry salesmen statewide, netting $16 million in stolen goods. In Carmel last year, two visiting salesmen had their entire stock stolen from the trunk of their car as they parked at Carmel Beach to enjoy the sunset. Another salesman was held up at gunpoint in the city''s underground parking garage. "People think nothing bad can happen here," says Poitras. "One of our officers calls Carmel ''Disneyland without rides.''"