Crime was a major issue Tuesday during a debate by the top candidates running for Los Angeles mayor. While many candidates talked about an uptick in crime, billionaire businessman Rick Caruso gave a particularly dark view of public safety the Los Angeles Times reports. “Everybody in this city — at every corner of the city, no matter where you live, what your background is — is scared to walk out their doors. Everybody is worried about crime, is worried about their children going to school,” Caruso said. “I was in Watts the other day ... listening to those parents worry about when the sun goes down what happens. Children are asleep on the floor because bullets go through the window.” At another point, he said: “Right now we have some of the worst crime we’ve had in the history of Los Angeles.” There were 397 homicides in Los Angeles last year, the most in more than a decade and a 50 percent increase from 2019 but well short of the 1,000 total reached during years in the 1990s. Police Chief Michel Moore told the Police Commission on Tuesday that robberies involving firearms were up 57 percent from 2020 and 60 percent from 2019, with hundreds more incidents so far this year than last. Through mid-March, property crime was up more than five percent over last year, with car thefts again a major concern. Compared to this point in 2020, vehicle thefts are up nearly 44 percent.
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