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Crimes increase in city parks, officials say

on October 12, 2015

Crime seems to be on the rise in Richmond parks. Although car break-ins are the most common problem, officials report some far more serious offenses, including a recent case of rape.

Carolyn Jones, public information officer for the East Bay Regional Park District, said 324 auto burglaries have been reported across the district’s 65 parks so far in 2015, compared to 237 in all of 2014.

Many of these break-ins and some of the more serious crimes have taken place along public shorelines such as Point Isabel and Miller Knox Park. In July, the body of Katherine Gravett, 30, was discovered at Point Isabel. Park police ruled the death to be suspicious and are investigating the case.

In August, UC Berkeley Police Chief Margo Bennett had her gun, badge and department-issued laptop stolen out of her parked service vehicle while she went for a run at Point Isabel. In an internal email, Bennett wrote that she was not aware that auto burglaries were common in the area.

Last month, a sexual assault occurred in Miller Knox Park in broad daylight. It took Richmond Police 45 minutes to arrive after the initial emergency call, prompting discussions between personnel at the parks district and local law enforcement on how to improve communications and response times.

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