Crime in California State Parks on the Rise

By Jessica Greene
|  Monday, Jul 26, 2010  |  Updated 8:00 AM PDT
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Crime in California State Parks on the Rise

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A Sacramento Bee analysis of Department of Parks and Recreation data shows crime in California's state parks has risen nearly threefold in the last decade.

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Vacationing in one of California's state parks put you on crime's front lines, according to newly released statistics.

A Sacramento Bee analysis of Department of Parks and Recreation data shows crime in California's state parks has risen nearly threefold in the last decade. Last year, 62,575 crimes were reported in the parks -- that's about 170 a day. In 1999, authorities responded to about 65 crimes a day.

One of the growing areas of crime in state parks is marijuana cultivation, according to the numbers. In 2009, 35 illegal grows were busted -- only 30 were reported the year prior and in 1999, only four pot farms were busted on state parks land.

There were 33 assaults in 1999 and 87 last year. The most common crimes reported were trespassing and failure to pay at the gate. Illegal camping, fishing and driving in restricted areas were among the most common violations reported. Serious and violent crimes remain rare in parks.

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