Phil Matier: Oakland Criminal Groups Choosing Robberies Over Drugs For Easy Cash

OAKLAND (KCBS) — There have been more than 3,800 robberies reported in Oakland this year, representing a 24% jump compared with the number of reported robberies in Oakland during the same time period last year.

According to federal data, Oakland already had the highest number of robberies per capita in 2012, recording 10.9 robberies per 1,000 residents within a 12-month span.

Authorities are concerned that nowadays, criminal gangs are increasingly turning to robbery and burglary to make money, as opposed to dealing drugs. Arrests for dealing drugs and/or drug possession in 2012 are actually less than half of what they were in Oakland in all of 2010 – that’s about the time that the number of robberies started increasing.

Phil Matier: What's Behind Oakland's Rising Robbery Rate

Police say criminals simply have an easier time making money from robberies and break-ins, as opposed to engaging in drug sales.

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