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Theft is San Luis Obispo's number one crime

San Luis Obispo Police Chief Deanna Cantrell released Friday crime statistics for 2016.

There was a seven percent reduction in violent crime in San Luis Obispo last year. But property crimes have spiked. A whopping 673 police reports were about thefts. And the percentage of thefts from cars increased by 52 percent from 2015 to 2016.

"Violent crime is not a huge issue for us, but property crime is incredible," Cantrell said. "Part of that is that the community is pretty trusting, and leaves, sometimes, their houses unlocked, and leaves a lot of their cars unlocked, leaves keys in the car, and so about half of our vehicle burglaries are from unlocked cars." 

No one was murdered in San Luis Obispo in 2016, but there were 38 reported rapes, 21 robberies and 118 aggravated assaults.

Cantrell said the use of data-driven policing strategies, use of cameras, bait property and specialty units have worked to bring down overall crime statistics.

The San Luis Obispo police department is understaffed right now, Cantrell said, due to "retirements, terminations and injuries." That means officers who may usually work on prevention programs are needed for general patrol duty.