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SLO saw a decrease in crime last year, but burglaries are already on the rise again

Posted at 6:38 PM, Apr 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-04 21:38:49-04

San Luis Obispo’s crime rate dropped 13 percent from 2016 to 2017, according to a new annual report.
 
Violent crime fell two percent and property crime fell 14 percent. 
 
While the report focuses on 2017, the police department is already looking at this year. 
 
Capt. Jeff Smith says they’re currently seeing an increase in home burglaries, especially near Cal Poly. 
 
"It feels weird because both times we were all home," said Dugan Dotson, whose home was hit by thieves twice in the last month. 
 
The burglars made off with some high-priced items belonging to several of his roommates. 
 
"Eight or nine laptops over the two times and irreplaceable notes and school books," Dotson explained.
 
The first time, the criminals came through the garage door. The second time was through an unlocked back door. 
 
"In 2018, one thing we’ve seen recently this year is an increase in residential burgs and the majority of our residential burgs have been from unlocked front doors or unlocked side doors," Capt. Smith said. 
 
According to the annual crime report, residential burglaries were on the decline last year. 
 
Comparing 2016 to 2017, there was a 40 percent drop from January to June and a 31 percent drop from July to December. 
 
Overall, there was a 13 percent decrease in crime last year. 
 
"Some of the increases we saw were in traffic pedestrian collisions," Capt. Smith explained. "We did see a fairly significant increase at 12 percent."  
 
He says that could be attributed to distracted walking or driving. 

"As we get into 2018, we are really looking at how can we bring down those numbers," Smith continued. 
 
Historically speaking, crime has been up since 2015 in San Luis Obispo so police feel the new report is encouraging data. 
 
More than 101,000 calls came into the dispatch center last year, making for an eight percent increase from the year before.