Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) reported just one robbery last year but no other incidents of major crime, as the number of arrests increased 11 percent from the previous year, Airport Police said.

In the category of Part-I Crime, which includes all major crimes against persons, the airport experienced no aggravated assaults in 2009, compared to five in 2008, and no homicides or rapes were reported in either year, according to recently released 2009 crime statistics for LAX. The number of robberies dropped by one from the previous year.

According to the statistics, arrests at the airport increased from 1,263 in 2008 to 1,407 last year.

“LAX continues to be one of the safest airports in the world, and one of the safest areas in all of Southern California.” Los Angeles Airport Police Chief George R. Centeno said.

“The total number of major crimes against persons is remarkably low, given over 56.5 million travelers used LAX last year. Including non-traveling visitors and airport workers, we estimate 209,000 people passed through LAX on an average day.”

Reports of Part-I Property Crime, considered the more common type of crime, decreased nine percent to 850 incidents in 2009 compared to 938 incidents in 2008. Larceny, or theft from individuals, the largest category of property crime, dropped 4.4 percent from 802 incidents to 766 incidents in 2009, police said.

Crime involving vehicles also declined last year, as police said that stepped-up patrol of LAX parking facilities has been a major deterrent. A 53-percent drop was reported in burglaries from locked vehicles from 88 in 2008 to 41 last year. Property theft from unlocked vehicles dropped from 24 incidents in 2008 to 22 in 2009. There were nine reports of motor vehicle theft last year, a 53 percent decline from 19 incidents reported in 2008.

Centeno noted that much of the reduction in property crime can be attributed to an increase in vigilance by patrol officers and plain-clothes surveillance units that resulted in increased arrests, recovery of victim’s property, and successful prosecution of suspects.

The chief added that through a significant, ongoing cooperative effort among various Airport Police units, the Los Angeles Police Department, airlines and their luggage vendors, target areas were identified and strategies were developed for preventing and suppressing criminal activity.

In the Part-II Crime category, miscellaneous offenses — the largest single statistical category — increased 2.9 percent to 1,593 incidents last year, primarily as a result of increased proactive law enforcement, as well as increased federal passenger and checked-luggage screening measures, police said. Among these offenses are loitering, operating a vehicle for hire without authority and forgery.

Other crimes that decreased include batteries, which dropped 16 percent to 47 incidents last year, and vehicle vandalism from airport parking facilities, which dropped 37 percent to 39 incidents last year.

Airport Police statistics cover the approximately 3,600 acres of LAX property, including passenger terminals, parking facilities, aircraft ramps, offices and cargo areas.

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