Felonies in Manteca were at their lowest numerical level since at least 2002.
There were 1,745 felonies reported in Manteca in 2014. That’s down 18.23 percent from 2013 and just seven more than the 1,728 reported in 2002. And even though California voters in November changed some felonies into misdemeanors during the last seven weeks of the year, the number was negligible when it came to Manteca’s crime statistics.
Misdemeanors were down 11.6 percent last year going to 3,123 from 3,533 in 2013.
Felonies that include crimes such as homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, residential burglary, grand theft, commercial burglary, vehicle theft, and arson are down significantly in the past 12 years given Manteca has actually grown by 18,000 residents from 54,975 in 2002 to today’s population of 73,000.
Last year marked the second straight year for felonies to drop in Manteca. They had spiked upward in 2011 and 2012 when a surge of gang activity was taking place including drive-by shootings that for a number of months were happening once to twice a week.
Manteca is lowering crime with a force of only 64 sworn officers down from a peak authorization level of 72 during the last decade. Manteca has 0.9 officers per 1,000 residents while San Francisco and Los Angeles have 2.9 officers per 1,000 residents. Stockton has 1.17, Modesto has 1.06, and Turlock has 1.12 officers per 1,000 residents
Burglaries — auto, residential and commercial — were down 31.74 percent in 2014. They dropped from 964 in 2013 to 658 in 2014. They had spiked upward in 2011 and 2012 reaching 1,101 and 1,017 respectively after recording only 800 in 2010. The years 2010 and 2011 were when gang activity last spiked in Manteca.
Manteca has since re-deployed a four-office gang suppression unit that was dropped during the early days of budget cuts due to the Great Recession.
Burglaries in 2014 were almost half of what was reported in 2005 when 1,265 took place.
Police Chief Nick Obligacion has repeatedly noted while Manteca is a “fairly safe city” you don’t feel that way if you are a victim of crime. The chief has been quoted as saying, “one crime is one too many.”
Another measure of crime from before the Great Recession in 2007 to 2014 shows Manteca’s annual:
• rapes are down from 27 to 14.
• auto burglaries are down 713 to 344.
• vehicle thefts are down 374 to 347.
• grand thefts are down 289 to 142
• arsons are down 26 to 16.
In 2014 to 2013 comparisons all felonies are down except for rape that went from 13 to 14 and vehicle thefts that jumped from 327 to 347. The biggest numerical drop was in residential, burglaries that went from 475 in 2013 down 39.58 percent to 171 in 2014. Auto burglaries were down 27.58 percent going from 475 in 2013 to 344 in 2014.