Homicides in Los Angeles County areas patrolled by the Sheriff's Department decreased slightly in 2012 compared with the previous year; however, the LASD-patrolled areas on the Palos Verdes Peninsula saw no homicides in 2012, the department announced Wednesday.
According to preliminary statistics, there were 166 homicides in sheriff's jurisdiction in 2012, compared with 170 in 2011, a 2.58 percent decrease.
The statistics show a "five-year continuous decrease, resulting in a 37.5 percent decrease in homicides in 2012 compared to five years ago, and the lowest number of homicides in sheriff's patrol areas since 1970," according to the department.
No homicides were reported in Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates and unincorporated county areas over the last two years.
Countywide statistics for all violent crimes indicated a 3.48 percent increase in 2012, compared with 2011. And "serious property crimes" increased by 4.31 percent in 2012, compared with 2011.
The only area in Palos Verdes that saw an increase in violent crimes over the past year was Rolling Hills Estates, which saw four aggravated assaults in 2011 and nine in 2012.
Property crimes, on the other hand, were a mixed bag. Rolling Hills saw a 28 percent year-over-year increase in burglaries (from seven in 2011 to nine in 2012) and a 143 percent increase in larceny theft (from seven in 2011 to 17 in 2012). Only one auto theft was reported in the area.
Rancho Palos Verdes saw decreases in burglaries, larceny theft and grand theft auto. One case of arson was reported.
Rolling Hills Estates saw decreases across the board.
Over a five-year period, there were about 24 percent fewer violent crimes LASD-patrolled areas in 2012 compared to 2007; and "serious property crimes" decreased by about 14 percent.
"Thanks to the trust of the public, community partnerships, and the brave and dedicated efforts of the sheriff's deputies and professional staff of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, we have seen historic lows in crime," Sheriff Lee Baca said.
See .pdf above for complete crime statistics.
—City News Service contributed to this report.