Crime in Auburn


Auburn, California, a small city northeast of Sacramento in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada range, is the Placer County seat. The 2010 Census reported a population of 13,330, up from 12,462 in 2000. The Auburn overall crime rate of 21 per 1,000 residents is near the average for all North American cities and towns.

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) crime data indicate a 1 in 47 probability of becoming a crime victim in Auburn. Compared to other communities of similar size, it is near the median in crime statistics from the uniform reports of both violent and property crimes the FBI collects from 17,000 local law enforcement agencies, not much more nor less dangerous.

On the FBI Crime Index , the community safety score for Auburn is 41 on a scale of 100 as safest. In 2012, the latest year for which FBI data are available, there were no murders, 31 assaults, five rapes, and eight robberies in Auburn with respective violent crime rates per 1,000 inhabitants of zero, 2.25, 0.36, and 0.58 compared to national rates per 1,000 of 0.05 for murder, 2.42 for assault, 0.27 for rape, and 1.13 for robbery. For murder, assault, and robbery, the violent crime rate in Auburn was lower than the national rate, which was lower for rape. Overall violent crime rates were 3.19 in Auburn, 3.90 nationally. Comparing 2012 property crime rates, Auburn had 61 burglaries, 156 thefts, and 32 motor vehicle thefts with corresponding rates of 4.42, 11.32, and 2.32 per 1,000 against respective national rates of 6.70, 19.59, and 2.30. The national rate for both burglary and theft was considerably higher, for motor vehicle thefts about the same or slightly lower. Overall property crime rates were 18.06 in Auburn, 28.6 nationally.

Pretrial Release

In Auburn, the police transport arrested suspects to the Police Department on Lincoln Way for processing for fingerprints, photographs, and digital searches for criminal histories and live warrants. The booking process may take several hours, and there can be no bail for release before it is complete. After they book a suspect, the Auburn police set a preliminary bail bond amount for release pending presentment and final determination within 24 hours or as soon as practicable by a judge or magistrate who examines the suspect’s identifying data and ties to the local community to assess risk of flight and the bond reasonably necessary to assure the defendant’s appearance as required. At this point a bail or surety bond may become necessary for pretrial release. The authorities believe firmly that defendants on pretrial release are more likely to return to court when money is at stake. A surety bond is a contract by a bondsman acting for an insurer to post money with a court as an assurance that, if at liberty while the case proceeds, the defendant will return to court whenever required or forfeit the bond, risk another arrest on a bench warrant, and perhaps incur a charge for bail jumping. If the defendant complies with the conditions of release, the court vacates the posted bond at the end of the case regardless of the disposition of the charge(s).

Bond Costs

In California bail bond fees, essentially insurance premiums, are 10 percent of the bond, so the premium or bondsman’s fee for a $1,000 bond is $100. Surety companies establish these fees, state insurance departments regulate them, and they are nonnegotiable, 10 percent by law, neither more nor less. The 10-percent fee/premium keeps the bond in force for up to a year if not forfeited by failure to appear. If the case proceeds longer, the bondsman charges another annual premium to continue the bond. At this point, of course, the defendant’s attorney may be able to persuade the court that the defendant has demonstrated such reliability and sense of responsibility that the bond should be reduced or set aside as no longer necessary.