Oakland Is America's Robbery Capital

Dubious distinction for most-exciting city: most robberies.

Fresh from its naming as America's most exciting city, Oakland has yet another superlative honorific.

"Robbery capital of America."

One out of every 91 residents in the East Bay city was robbed last year, according to the Oakland Tribune.

That's the city's highest robbery rate in two decades -- and the highest robbery rate of "any major American city" since 2000.

Oakland's robbery rate far exceeds other cities', the newspaper reported -- in fact, the city with the closest comparable statistics, Cleveland, had a robbery rate 36 percent lower than Oakland's.

Among East Bay cities, Oakland's robbery rate is twice that of Richmond's and three times greater than Hayward's.

Cell phones and purses seem to be the objects of desire for the "new breed of robbers," the newspaper reported.

"Oakland reported 4,338 robberies last year -- the most since 1993. That's 12 robberies a day," the newspaper reported. "It's nearly four times as many robberies as the 1,208 reported in San Jose, a city with more than double Oakland's population."

Hotspots for robberies are along Lake Merritt, in downtown, and near BART stations, according to the newspaper. Latinos and Asians are targeted for robberies disproportionately because there is a feeling they will be less likely to report crimes.

Oakland also landed on another dubious top-10 list -- the cities with the highest murder rates. But there's good news: on that list, Oakland came in ninth. This month, a real estate blog also named Oakland one of the country's "most exciting cities."

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