Last year, the Los Angeles Police Department recorded 2,780 robberies involving a gun. That is a jump of nearly 400 from 2021, and continues a spike in firearms-related crime that began with the onset of the pandemic.
In 2022, 30.1% of all robberies in the city involved a gun. In 2019, that figure was 21.1%
It is a trend that has repeatedly drawn the concern of Police Chief Michel Moore. In his Jan. 10 appearance before the Los Angeles Police Commission, he noted that since 2019, “we [saw] an increase of 34% in the number of gun-related robberies.”
He added, “So our pressure points continue as we move into 2023 with identifying those persons who are carrying guns, and those persons who are trafficking guns, and to interrupt that cycle.”
The rate of gun usage in robberies outpaced the overall increase in robberies in the city. The LAPD last year registered 9,228 incidents, a 7.3% increase over 2021.
However, the figure was lower than the total in the pre-pandemic year of 2019.
The highest annual number of robberies in the city in the past decade occurred in 2017, when there were 10,824 incidents, according to publicly available LAPD data. The 2022 total was 14.7% below that level.
As 2022 began, robberies were big news in Los Angeles. A spate of violent “follow home” incidents, in which thieves targeted victims leaving banks, high-end stores or restaurants, and confronted them as they approached their vehicle or residence, had prompted the Los Angeles Police Department to form a task force dedicated to combating such offenses.