(CALMATTERS) – Homicides and car thefts shot up in four major California cities in 2020, even as overall violent and property crimes remained below pre-pandemic levels, according to a Tuesday report from the Public Policy Institute of California analyzing preliminary crime data. Homicides increased by a jaw-dropping 40% in Los Angeles, 36% in Oakland, 17% in San Francisco and 10% in San Diego. And despite an overall decline in residential burglaries (except for San Francisco, which saw a startling 78% increase), car thefts jumped 24%. Commercial burglaries also rose by about 26%, with a significant uptick in May amid protests over the death of George Floyd.
It’s still too early to tell what’s driving the changes, but California saw a sharp spike in gun ownership amid the pandemic — and a surge in the number of people who have firearms despite being legally prohibited from owning them.
What is clear is the statistics could
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