Law enforcement officials at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) report that crimes against people and property dropped six percent during the first six months of this year, compared to crimes during the same time period last year.
Crimes against persons and property dropped this year by 32 incidents to 490. There were 522 such incidents during the same period last year.
This is the fourth consecutive year of declining crime at LAX during the first six months.
“LAX continues to be one of the safest airports in the world, not to mention one of the safest areas in all of Southern California,” said Los Angeles Airport Police Chief Bernard J. Wilson.
Wilson attributed the drop in crime to continued crime prevention, an increase in uniformed and plain-clothes police officers on patrol, crime trend analysis and a system of surveillance cameras known as the Video Network (V-NET).
An estimated 63 million people passed through LAX during the first six months this year. This is an average of 346,000 people per day.
LAX officials said the airport handled 11 percent more passengers, visitors and employees than the first six months last year.
The statistics cover the 3,600 acres of LAX property, which includes passenger terminals, parking lots, ramps, cargo areas and business offices.
Violent crimes — which include homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assault — constitute one percent of the 490 reported crimes against persons and property.
Property crimes include theft from individuals, businesses and vehicles. Crimes against property constitute 85 percent of crime reported this year at the airport.
VIOLENT CRIMES — Violent crimes dropped 50 percent to five incidents during the first six months this year. There were ten incidents last year.
This year, there were no homicides. One case of rape, one robbery that resulted in an arrest and three incidents of aggravated assault were reported.
Two of those aggravated assault cases involved drivers attempting to run over police officers.
PROPERTY CRIMES — Property crimes decreased to 416 incidents this year from 462 incidents last year.
Of the crimes reported, 319 incidents, or 79 percent, were property thefts for which Airport Police officials describe a large majority as preventable “opportunity thefts.”
Police officials say the victims did not pay attention to their belongings or surroundings.
Of the 3,485,997 vehicles parked at the LAX Central Terminal Area and perimeter parking lots this year, there were nine auto thefts.
When 3,283,279 vehicles or 202,718 fewer vehicles parked at the airport last year, there were four incidents.
BURGLARIES — Burglaries from airport businesses dropped by nine incidents (56 percent).
There were seven incidents this year, compared to 16 incidents during the first six months last year.
Vehicle burglaries, or damage to vehicles, dropped by eight incidents (16 percent). There were 43 incidents this year and 51 last year.
Theft of property from motor vehicles rose by four incidents or a 17 percent increase. There were 28 incidents this year and 24 last year.
OTHER CRIMES — A separate category of crimes classified as “other” — or administrative victimless offenses — increased 30 percent.
There were 645 incidents this year compared to 497 incidents last year.
These types of offenses include doing business or making sales without a license, operating a for-hire vehicle without a permit, driving with a suspended license, misusing a handicapped placard, failing to obey a law enforcement or traffic officer, loitering, possessing prohibited items, public intoxication and drug-related offenses.
Officials say the increase in incidents is the result of Airport Police “sting” operations involving misuse of handicapped placards, officers learning that a driver has a suspended license after he/she had been stopped for a vehicle violation, and people bringing prohibited items to the airport.
According to Airport Police, many of the crimes in the “other” category are recorded as a result of accompanying arrests.
MORE ARRESTS — Arrests rose 47 percent to 629 this year from 427 last year. In the airport environment, an arrest for one crime can lead to the resolution of several other crimes, airport officials said.
The crime statistics are compiled from reports filed by the LAX Police and the Los Angeles Police Department at LAX.