San Leandro police union concerned about increase in violent crimes

The San Leandro Police Officers' Association is expressing concern over a report that shows an almost 50 percent increase in month-over-month violent crime with significant increases in robbery, assault, residential burglary, and shoplifting in San Leandro.

New crime numbers released Friday from July show a 500 percent increase in robberies involving a firearm, a 125 percent increase in assaults with a deadly weapon, a 100 percent increase in shoplifting, and a 75 percent increase in residential burglaries over the previous month of June 2020.

Overall, crime is down from the same time last year, but this is a disturbing trend in violent crime, police officers say.

"We want to caution the public to be careful, cautious and thoughtful about your own safety and the community's safety," said Michael Olivera, president of the San Leandro Police Officers' Association.

"Many of the officers serving the City of San Leandro were born and raised in this community, are dedicated to public safety, and want to continue to provide the high level of police services the community is accustomed to and deserves," Olivera said.

The safety warning comes on the heels of an officer-involved shooting and death of a suspect with an automatic weapon in a stolen vehicle case last week.

"San Leandro police officers are struggling to deal with a significant increase in violent crime," Olivera added.  "We want to ensure the public's safety and need their support to ensure the City Council hears the voices of residents about the importance of police officers when budget cuts are being considered by the city."

Olivera said it is concerning that this surge in violent crime is occurring during the pandemic and shelter-in-place measures. 

Year-over-year crime statistics show that rape is up 38 percent, assault with a deadly weapon is up 28 percent, aggravated assault is up 62 percent, arson is up 60 percent, commercial burglary is up 44 percent, and vehicle theft is up 54 percent.