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Newport Beach Police Chief Recounts ‘More Crooks on the Street’

Newport Beach’s top cop says that while crime remains low in the coastal city, police have seen an upswing in thefts. “We had frankly more crooks on the street,” Police Chief Jon Lewis said during a Feb. 18 Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce meeting. “They were taking advantage of these opportunities here.” The department saw an increase in theft larceny due to unattended property stolen by porch pirates, Lewis said. One package thief was arrested and booked by officers seven times—each a felony crime—throughout 2020, Lewis said. “When these people come in, they’re out quickly and they come back,” he said. “They know what the consequences are too, or the lack thereof. “The risk sometimes makes it worth the reward they are going to get … If they think they’re just going to be getting out and back again—and maybe the result of that is they don’t get to keep the property they stole—there’s really not much …

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