Local crime trends mirrored region
The Hayward Police Department reported a decline in violent crime in the city in 2017 accompanied by an upswing in property-related offenses.
In its annual report to the City Council last month, HPD said Hayward saw a 10 percent reduction over 2016 in violent crimes, such as homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assault, while burglary, larceny, vehicle theft, arson and other property-related offenses increased 9 percent.
The violent crime drop is attributable in part to a successful operation targeting criminal gang-activity led by an HPD special investigations unit employing a court-authorized wiretap from Jan. 21, 2017, to March 9, 2017. Through Operation Winter Storm, officers arrested eight gang
members for crimes ranging from homicide to aggravated assault with a firearm to robbery and face potential life prison sentences. A total of 11 firearms were recovered and, through use of the wiretap, four crimes were averted, including three planned homicides, the department reported.
Since the end of Operation Winter Storm, there were four homicides in Hayward for a total of five for all of 2017, compared to 13 in 2016. None of the 2017 killings are attributable to gang activity, according to HPD.
A trend across the Bay Area that showed up in Hayward in 2017 are crimes of opportunity, such as laptops being snatched in coffee shops and smash-and-grabs of packages and devices from locked vehicles. HPD reported progress on another property crime front—after exclusively assigning another to focus on a spike in auto thefts. Since then, Hayward has experienced an 11 percent decline.