H-SANTA BARBARA COUNTY

Mar 2, 2011 7:49 PM by Danielle Lerner

Violent crime continues to rise in unincorporated areas of SB County

Some new numbers released Wednesday show violent crime is on the rise in unincorporated areas of Santa Barbara County. Overall, crime in the county dropped 5 percent in 2010, but residents say the increase in violent crime is surprising.

Violent crime includes homicide, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault. In unincorporated areas of Santa Barbara County numbers in all four categories went up in 2010.

There were three homicides in 2010, compared with none in 2009. Forcible rapes jumped 42 percent last year, going from 24 in 2009 to 34 in 2010. Robberies went from 21 in 2009 to 27 in 2010. The number of aggravated assaults rose about 6 percent, from 209 in 2009 to 221 in 2010.

On the flip side burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft and arson all dropped in 2010. Isla Vista continues to be the area with the largest amount of crime, but that is not making people in Orcutt feel any better.

"I'm surprised that violent crime is up that much I really am," said Trudy Schneller, an Orcutt resident.

"I think people are maybe more stressed out because of money problems and you know one thing leads to another, fighting and stuff like that," said Hillarie Brown, who also lives in Orcutt.

In unincorporated areas of San Luis Obispo County there were 6 homicides in 2010 compared with just 2 in 2009. Overall, violent crime in that county is dropping. The number of rapes dropped 14 percent, going from 21 in 2009 to 18 in 2010. Robbery was down 10 percent, going from 20 in 2009 to 18 in 2010, and the number of aggravated assaults went from 155 in 2009 to 125 in 2010.

Overall crime in unincorporated areas of San Luis Obispo County, which includes burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft and arson dropped about 15 percent from 2009 to 2010.

You can find the full crime report for both counties in the Newslinks section of ksby.com.

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