Bakersfield Named Top City for Home Burglaries, but Is It?

The law enforcement agencies in Bakersfield, California, are wondering how the city was ranked worst in the nation by a national insurance company.

A study recently released by Insurify claims Bakersfield’s per-capita burglary rate was 847 per 100,000 residents, ranking the city at the top of the nation, but the outcome was reached using crime reports that are several years old.

Bakersfield Police Department’s Sgt. Robert Pair also said he tried several methods to match the statistics but was unsuccessful.

“We tried to replicate their numbers and we cannot,” Pair told The Epoch Times. “It does not appear to accurately reflect the number of residential burglaries [in Bakersfield]. It doesn’t match anything that we even remotely have.”

Nonetheless, several media outlets reported Bakersfield’s new designation this week.

An Insurify spokesperson told The Epoch Times the company’s data scientists used the Federal Bureau of Information’s (FBI) crime reports from 2019. That data was the most up-to-date information they had, the spokesperson said.

“We’re looking to see if we can find more updated information,” the spokesperson said.

National crime statistics are not yet available for 2022 because of a change in crime reporting.

In about mid-2022, the FBI switched crime reporting methods from the Universal Crime Reporting program to a new system called National Incident-Based Reporting System.

Many police departments, including Bakersfield Police Department, have not fully transitioned to the new crime reporting system, which requires law enforcement to record every crime affiliated with each incident. For example, if someone burglarizes a home and commits other crimes during the burglary, such as a murder, each separate crime is now reported to the FBI.

Therefore, the FBI has not yet released 2022 or 2023 data.

So far this year, the city has had 276 residential burglaries. That would equate to 67 per 100,000, considering the town has a population of about 407,000, according to Pair.

Home burglaries in the city have in fact decreased steadily in the past few years, Pair said.

Last year, the city reported 820 residential burglaries, putting them at a rate of 201 per 100,000 people, according to the police department.

In 2020—an unusual year with more crime—Bakersfield recorded 922. The next year, the city had 734 home burglaries, Pair added.

“Burglary rates can be cyclical in nature,” Pair said. “However, we have more officers than we ever had before. It’s difficult to say whether we’re going back to pre-2020 crime rate trends or definitely [there’s] been a reduction.”

The latest report about 2022 crime data by the national security company Safe Home ranks Seattle as the top city for burglary incidents with a rate of 1,351 per 100,000. Albuquerque, New Mexico, came in second with a per-capita rating of 903 per 100,000, and Memphis, Tennessee, came in third with 896 per 100,000. For medium-sized cities, Tulsa, Oklahoma, ranked first with 1,096 burglaries per 100,000, followed by Cleveland, Ohio, and Minneapolis, Minnesota.

From The Epoch Times

ntd newsletter icon
Sign up for NTD Daily
What you need to know, summarized in one email.
Stay informed with accurate news you can trust.
By registering for the newsletter, you agree to the Privacy Policy.