Rancho Santa Margarita has historically enjoyed a very low crime rate. For many years, we have had the lowest crime rate of any city in Orange County, and we are normally in the top 5 safest cities in the entire nation comparing cities with a population over 25,000.
The crime rate statistics used in most comparisons come from the FBI in their annual report Crime in the United States, which is available on the FBI website. The FBI uses the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program to ensure consistency among cities when they report the information. The UCR Program classifies crimes as either Part 1 or Part 2. Part 1 crimes are the most serious and have the most impact on our quality of life, so the Part 1 crimes are typically the crimes used for comparison purposes. The FBI report is great in the sense that it presents comprehensive data on crime for every city in the Country. The downside is that it is published nearly a year late due to the challenges of compiling so much data.
The City of Rancho Santa Margarita wants to provide our residents with timelier information on the crime rate to keep everyone informed of current trends. RSM Police Services will post the Part 1 crime statistics here monthly as soon as they are reported to the FBI. There will still be a delay, but it will only be a few weeks instead of nearly a year.
The statistics posted here are preliminary and occasionally get revised when the investigation determines a crime should be re-classified as a different crime or unfounded completely. As a result, you may see a -1 in one of the categories for a certain month, but don’t be alarmed as it only happens a couple of times per year.
Please contact police services at (949) 635-1819 if you have questions about the crime statistics.
We have included basic definitions of the Part 1 crimes below. For exact definitions please visit the US Department of Justice Website.
Homicide - The willful killing of one human being by another. Justifiable homicides and certain other deaths are excluded.
Forcible Rape - Unlawful sexual intercourse committed by a male against a female against her will.
Robbery - The unlawful taking of property from a person by means of force or fear.
Assault - An unlawful attack by one person upon another for the purpose of inflicting severe or aggravated bodily injury. Simple assaults are excluded.
Residential Burglary - The unlawful entry of a residential structure to commit a felony or theft.
Non-Residential Burglary - The unlawful entry of any structure, that is not a residence, to commit a felony or theft.
Larceny - Theft or the unlawful stealing of property from another. Auto thefts and fraud related crimes are excluded.
Auto Theft - The theft or attempted theft of a motor vehicle. Motorboats, construction equipment, airplanes, and farming equipment are excluded.