Las Vegas Sheriff Blames California for Sin City Crime Wave

Las Vegas may be known as Sin City, but these days some of its gravest misdeeds are being imported from California, according to Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Sheriff Joe Lombardo. He's pointing a finger at the Golden State and two laws in particular for a recent crime wave affecting his city.

At issue are California's AB 109 and Proposition 47 which allowed for early prison releases for nonviolent offenders and downgraded certain crimes to misdemeanors. As a result of these laws, more criminals have wound up on the streets, Lombardo says, and many of them have since found their way into neighboring Nevada.

"Individuals we’re able to identify, and also the victims of those crimes – we’re seeing a significant increase in individuals that have gang affiliation, gang association directly related to California,” said Lombardo. A review of the offenders' criminal history directly links their crimes to AB 109 and Proposition 47, his department claims.

AB 109 and Proposition 47 have both ruffled feathers among California law enforcement officials and have received some blame for an increase in local crime, despite some recent studies to the contrary. But even critics of the legislation have questioned Lombardo's bold contention. Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer, who has called for changes to Proposition 47 himself, recently expressed skepticism over the sheriff's claims.

Read more about California's alleged role in the Las Vegas crime wave here.

Image Credit: Flickr User felipevalduga, via (CC BY 2.0)