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Areas in Bakersfield with higher vehicle crime rates

Posted at 7:43 PM, Jun 03, 2024
  • When covering crime in Bakersfield, police divide the city up into six zones: Central, North, South, Metro, Hill, and Valley.
  • Between January to April, Central Zone saw 95 vehicle burglaries. Metro Zone saw 86.
  • Combined, those areas saw 215 vehicle crime reports, making up 46% of the total vehicle crimes during those four months.

Data from the Bakersfield Police Department shows that where you leave your car could determine whether or not you become a victim. If you park within the Metro or Central Zone, chances are higher you’ll find your vehicle burglarized or parts missing.

When covering crime in Bakersfield, police divide the city up into six zones: Central, North, South, Metro, Hill, and Valley. Between January to April, Central Zone saw 95 vehicle burglaries. Metro Zone saw 86. Combined, those areas saw 215 vehicle crime reports, making up 46% of the total vehicle crimes during those four months.

"Anywhere you park your vehicle. Unfortunately, you run the risk of being a victim of these crimes,” said Sgt. Eric Celedon. "Within those two zones, we do see the largest number of large retail shopping areas, as well as the Metro area. You also have a large concentration in the downtown area which provides a lot of vehicle traffic for to be potential victims."

Sgt. Celedon said these numbers could reflect the demographic of the area: spaces with large lots or congregate parking.

"It could be at parks, it can be in downtown areas,” he said. “It could be Mechanics Bank Arena downtown, it can be at any of these venues, or a convenient residential neighborhood."

When it comes to catalytic converter thefts, Central and Metro Bakersfield see higher reports than half of the other zones, but the highest number comes from the Valley Zone. Celedon said with vehicle parts, thieves tend to be putting in more effort.

"These criminals, do their research specifically for catalytic converters, as most of the community knows. So they know which vehicles and doing their background work, which ones are easier to access,” he said.

To protect your vehicle, Celedon reminds drivers not to leave valuables in plain sight and to be vigilant about where they're parking.

“Look around this parking lot,” he said pointing out the Target parking lot on Stockdale Highway. “You see a lot of hedges you see some trees, and the trees may even obstruct some of the lighting in the evening time. So parking somewhere where your vehicle is as visible as visible and provides the least amount of concealment for potential suspects.

Along with vehicle burglaries and catalytic converter theft, BPD saw 71 thefts from unlocked vehicles between January and April.

Currently, the State Assembly is looking into a bill, SB 905, that would make it easier to prosecute a number of these vehicle-related crimes by removing the requirement for prosecutors to prove the vehicle was locked when theft occurred.


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