San Diego Murders Rise Despite Drop in Crime

San Diego reported 38 homicides in 2011 compared to 29 the previous year

By R. Stickney
|  Wednesday, Jun 13, 2012  |  Updated 12:25 PM PDT
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Murders Rise Despite Drop in Crime

Mark Leimbach

One of San Diego's high-profile murder cases involved the shooting death of Garrett Berki, a San Diego teenager who was killed while responding to a Craigslist ad in May 2011.

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Violent crimes in San Diego dropped 9 percent in 2011 when compared with 2010 according to the FBI.

Even though city residents reported fewer property crimes including a drop in robberies, there were more murders reported – 38 homicides in 2011 compared to 29 the previous year.

Among San Diego's high-profile murder cases of 2011:  the shooting death of Garrett Berki, killed while answering a Craigslist ad; father and son Darryl Hunter and Keith Butler, shot on a Golden Hill street corner and cab driver Mir Sahou, shot to death next to his green and white taxi in La Jolla.

The story is not so good for Carlsbad. The coastal city reported more violent (up 7.6 percent) and property (up 8.24 percent) crimes in 2011 over 2010. Authorities saw more aggravated assaults, murders and burglaries than the year prior according to the annual report.

The crime rates in Oceanside and Escondido were lower overall with Oceanside residents seeing violent crimes drop 4.6 percent and property crimes down 1.5 percent in 2011 compared to the year prior. In Escondido the decrease was even greater with the city’s violent crime rate down 17 percent and the property rate down 20 percent.

Chula Vista reported a slight increase in violent crime – up 1 percent – due to a jump in aggravated assaults the report shows. Meanwhile, the city reported a two percent drop of property crime led by a decrease in car thefts over 2010 statistics.

How do local communities compare to the national crime rate? On Monday, the FBI released its Preliminary Annual Uniform Crime Report showing a 4 percent drop in violent crimes and a 0.8 decline in the number of property crimes last year than the year before.

The report is based on information the FBI gathered from 14,009 law enforcement agencies that submitted six to 12 comparable months of data for both 2010 and 2011.

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