Oakland carjackings above Calif. average

June 2, 2008 8:07:44 AM PDT
The city of Oakland is getting the kind of recognition it could do without. A new study says carjackings are much more common there than in other California cities of similar size.

It is common knowledge that Oakland has a crime problem, but now there is a new look at numbers that focus on an alarming number of carjacking in the city.

The San Francisco Chronicle analyzed the statistics and found that car jacking occurred two or even three times more frequently in Oakland then other similarly populated cities.

Last December, State Senate President Don Perata became a victim of carjacking - it happened in broad daylight. That incident made news, but criminologists say often carjackings are underreported because police list them as armed thefts of burglaries. The Chronicle said that between January of 2005 and December of 2007 - Oakland had 884 carjackings; while San Francisco, with twice the population, had 334 carjackings.

"The police alone cannot solve this problem. It's only when we come together as a total community that we can solve this, and it's only when we come together with the full range of strategies - because crime and violence is a multi-dimensional issue," said Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums.

Dellums attended a neighborhood crime summit over the weekend. He believes that some crime can stem from poverty. One study showed that carjackers not only use the stolen cars for other crimes - they often parade the cars around downtown to beef up their status.

The numbers show even the nicest parts of the town aren't immune - every Oakland neighborhood has reported at least one carjacking.


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