By Doug Saunders, The Sun
and Melissa Pinion-Whitt, The Sun
Posted: 09/18/13, 1:20 PM PDT | Updated: 6 hrs ago

Homicides rose in Pomona and San Bernardino in 2012, while vehicle thefts jumped in Redlands and Ontario, according to FBI crime statistics released this week.

The “Crime in the United States, 2012” report showed that violent crime across the nation increased 0.7 percent compared with 2011 statistics, and property crime had decreased 0.9 percent.

But the Inland Empire bucked the national trend in property crime.

San Bernardino showed a 24 percent increase in property crime, with Pomona at 13 percent and Redlands at 14 percent.

“We had significant increases across the board,” said San Bernardino Assistant Police Chief Jarrod Burguan. “Last year we had the 24 percent increase in property crimes, but through July of this year we’ve shown a 5.7 percent decrease.”

Burguan said there are several reasons behind the property crime increase in 2012.

“Personnel cuts, and significant restructuring are just a couple of reasons crime increased,” he said.

Homicides also jumped significantly in San Bernardino last year.

“We don’t know why the murder rate increased,” Burguan said. “But we’re very good at determining why someone’s life was taken.”

Gang violence and drugs are behind many of the homicides that took place last year, he said.

In 2012, San Bernardino recorded 47 homicides, a 56 percent increase from the previous year. There have been 30 homicides in San Bernardino so far this year.

Pomona went from 11 homicides in 2011 to 17 last year — a 54 percent increase. This year, police responded to 21 homicides, a 23 percent increase over last year’s numbers.

All of Pomona’s 21 homicides this year are believed to be narcotics- or gang-related, said Pomona police Sgt. Hector Rodriguez.

“Gang murders are always difficult to solve,” Rodriguez said. “With the help of the public, we believe we can make some progress. Oftentimes, these cases take months and sometimes years to solve, which can be frustrating for everyone, especially the families of the victims.”

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