Report: Oakland tops US in number of robberies

Byby Cornell Barnard KGO logo
Monday, November 17, 2014
Report: Oakland tops US in number of robberies
A new report released by the FBI finds Oakland topped the nation in robberies, with an average of one robbery for every 82 residents.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- A new report released by the FBI finds Oakland topped the nation in robberies.

The city has an average of one robbery for every 82 residents, though it appears crime is actually way down this year.

According to our media partner, the Oakland Tribune, Oakland had 4,922 robberies in 2013. That compares to nearly 1,100 robberies in San Jose and 4,202 in San Francisco. The two cities have more than double Oakland's population.

Oakland's new mayor calls these crime stats outrageous and says she has a plan to make Oakland safer, but others aren't so sure.

"I do want to move back because I really feel like there's good here, but it's becoming kind of scary also," Denise Perry said.

Rising crime in Oakland just sent Perry packing for Hercules, but she still comes back for church on Sundays and maybe not for long. "A lady from my church was walking to church at 7 a.m. and a gun was pulled on her and they took her money," Perry said.

One woman said she was robbed while shopping on Grand Avenue. "I lost my wallet and my phone and it was quite an expense and it set me back, it really set me back," one woman said.

FBI data shows robberies shot up to historic levels in Oakland last year. There were over 4,900 robberies, making 2013 the worst year for robberies in three decades.

"These crime numbers are completely unacceptable," Oakland Mayor-Elect Libby Schaaf said.

Schaaf is out of town, but spoke to ABC7 News by phone. She says crime will be her top priority in office and wants more cops on the streets doing more community-based policing. "We want to not only make sure that Oaklanders are confident that a cop will come when you call, but we want to create an environment where people make the decision to not commit a crime in the first place," Schaaf said.

"People are out and about in droves. They're happy to be here, they're out on the street, they're not scared to be here," Lakeshore Business Improvement District Director Pamela Drake said.

Drake says don't forget the good news. This year, Oakland robberies are actually down by 36 percent compared to 2013.

"The stats tend to send people scurrying when the reality is we're getting a handle on crime," Drake said.

Drake still wants to see regular police officers assigned to shopping districts where crime can often occur.

Authorities say Oakland's previous high was in 1992 when it had 4,600 robberies.