Boyle Heights experienced among the most significant increases in vandalism on the Eastside during the first half of the year, according to an analysis of LAPD stats by researchers at USC.
The notable increase in Boyle Heights -- as well as in Echo Park and Lincoln Heights -- came as reported vandalism declined 4.1% citywide in the first six months of 2019 compared to the first six months of 2018, according to Crosstown, a joint project by several departments at USC.
On the Eastside, vandalism in Boyle Heights during the first six months of 2019 surged 27.3% from the same period last year to 387 crimes. That's the second highest number of crimes citywide behind Downtown L.A., which had 640 incidents.
Several other neighborhoods that saw increases included Echo Park -- up 17% -- and Lincoln Heights, up nearly 40%.
The neighborhoods that reported declines included Highland Park -- down about 19% -- and Glassell Park, down more than 22%.
While vandalism is frequently regarded a minor offense, the LAPD pays particular attention to incidents at religious sites, government buildings and other sensitive locations.
“We also code crimes for motivation based on 'gang' or ‘hate,’ both issues that can carry a societal concern,” LAPD Capt. Paul Vernon told Crosstown.