As the Los Angeles Police Department struggles to maintain its staffing numbers amid a historic city budget crisis, Councilman Tom LaBonge on Tuesday pointed to a spike in crime in some of the Northeast Los Angeles communities he represents.

“There has been a surge in crime in the Los Feliz/Silver Lake/Franklin Hills area,” LaBonge said. “I encourage all residents to enhance their neighborhood watch programs. I plan to hold another community meeting within the next two weeks to discuss the problem of crime in our area.”

Burglary is up 52 percent versus the same time last year, theft is up six percent, and rape is up a whopping 117 percent in the Los Angeles Police Department's Northeast Area, which covers Silver Lake, Los Feliz, Franklin Hills, Highland Park, Mt. Washington, Glassell Park, Elysian Park and other areas northeast of Hollywood (PDF map). (Rape arrests are also up 500 percent). (PDF).

In what sounded a little like a castigation of police, LaBonge announced that his Silver Lake home had been burglarized Friday afternoon by what appeared to be a pair of teenagers or young men.

“Like many other people in the City of Los Angeles, unfortunately, my family was the victim of a crime last week,” LaBonge said. ” … “This has been a very upsetting event for my family, but it was a property crime. We were not confronted physically. Our hearts go out to anyone who has been a victim of violent crime or has experienced the

sense of violation that comes with being a victim.”

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