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Crime rate grows in Turlock
TPD crime scene pic2
Turlock had 3,120 Part One crimes reported in 2015, up from the 2,869 reported the year prior. Part One crimes include homicides, rapes, robberies, aggravated assaults, burglaries, larcenies and auto thefts. Of the 3,120 crimes, a little more than 2,700 were theft-related. - photo by Journal file photo

The Part One crime rate in Turlock saw a rise in 2015 as the area experienced more theft crimes, but did see a decline in some of the more violent crimes, for an overall increase of 8.7 percent, according to the Turlock Police Department’s annual report.

“That’s troubling because it’s pretty substantial,” said Turlock Police Chief Robert Jackson in presenting the report to the Turlock City Council Tuesday night. Jackson believes that prison realignment and Prop 47, which was passed by voters last year, continue to have an effect on the crime rate.

AB 109, also known as the Public Safety Realignment bill, was signed into law in 2011. It calls for county jail time, rather than a prison sentence for some low-level offenses. Proposition 47, which was passed by California voters in 2014, reduces the classification of some non-serious and nonviolent crimes from felonies to misdemeanors.

“When we saw three strikes passed in California we saw the crime rate drop, now I think that pendulum is swinging the other way,” Jackson said.

Jackson also pointed to the area’s drug rate use as another driving factor in the rising crime rate, especially in thefts.

“It is a root cause for thefts in our community,” Jackson said.

Turlock had 3,120 Part One crimes reported in 2015, up from the 2,869 reported the year prior. Of the 3,120 crimes, a little more than 2,700 were theft-related.

“As a community we can make a difference and that is through crime prevention,” Jackson said. “If you see something, say something. There are over 70,000 people in Turlock. That’s a lot of eyes and ears.”

Part One crimes include homicides, rapes, robberies, aggravated assaults, burglaries, larcenies and auto thefts. Turlock’s Part One crime rate for 2015 was at 43.92 per 1,000 residents.

All categories of violent crime fell in Turlock except one. The number of homicides fell from four in 2014 to two in 2015. Forcible rapes dropped to 17 in 2015, down from 20 the year before. The number of robberies dropped from 109 in 2014 to 103 in 2015.

The only type of violent crime to see an increase in 2015 was aggravated assaults, which grew from 234 in 2014 to 259 in 2015.

The rate of motor vehicle thefts in Turlock saw the largest increase in 2015. The rate rose from 367 in 2014 to 513 in 2015 for a 39 percent increase, according to the annual report. The number of burglaries grew by 16 percent, rising to 602 reports in 2015 from 518 in 2014. The number of larcenies reported in 2015 was at 1,624, which is up slightly from the 1,617 recorded in 2014.

In 2015 the Turlock Police Department responded to 98,531 calls for service, including self-initiated calls. Of those calls 3,338 arrests were made, 58 of which required an officer use some type of force to make the arrest. Of the 98,531 calls for service, 12 of the calls resulted in administrative investigations and citizen complaints, according to the report.

The police department’s average response time to Priority One calls was 7 minutes and 23 seconds. Priority Two calls had an average response time of 15 minutes and 27 seconds. Priority Three calls had a response time of 43 minutes and 5 seconds and Priority Four had an average response time of one hour five minutes and 24 seconds.