How bad is the crime rate in the Santa Fe neighborhood of Oakland?

Asked by Tracey Freyre, Oakland, CA Tue May 12, 2009

I'm considering buying in that area and would like to know people's experiences. Also, are the demographics changing? How dangerous is the area, particularly closer to MLK? I have a tolerance for some crime but don't want to feel completely unsafe in my home. Any thoughts?

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Jessica DeL…, Agent, Berkeley, CA
Wed May 13, 2009
I agree that the crime websites can give you a ton of information about recent crime statistics in a given area. However, if you go by the websites alone, you probably won't want to live anywhere. I always recommend spending some time in the neighoborhood that you are considering calling home. Walk around, talk to neighbors if the oppotunity presents itself. See how comfortable you feel. A feeling of safety is so realtive. If you aren't into the walkabout idea, at least drive around at different times of day and night to get an idea of foot traffic (and any other trafficing that may be going on), who your neighbors will be etc.

Safety and security is always a top priority but don't let statistics or hype keep you from exploring opportunities. There are hidden gems all across the vast neighborhoods that Oakland has to offer!

All the best,
2 votes
Ann Wilkins, Agent, Oakland, CA
Wed Jan 5, 2011
You have a lot of tools with the Oakland websites but you can also make a point of just talking with neighbors, In addition, don't call the Oakland Police Dept, but make a point of talking to officers when you see them out and about -at a coffee place,. restaurant, on the street etc. They might be pre-occupied but usually they love talking about the neighborhoods. Also try paramedics who work in Oakland. This North Oakland neighborhood has become a very popular area for first time homebuyers, because of the low prices, good commute and good public transportation
1 vote
Tomi Thomas, Agent, Oakland, CA
Mon Feb 6, 2012
As agents, we are prohibited from taking a position as to whether something is a good neighborhood or bad. This is called redlining, and we just can't do it.

There are great folks in all neighborhoods. Some areas are more prone to crime. The good folks in all neighborhoods are working to make them better. The VERY BEST way to approach this research is to start with the crime stats on the city website, then do the following:

1) call the police department and ask for the name of the policeman who acts as the beat captain for that address. Ask to be contacted by this person, and have a full conversation about the neighborhood. Ask what are the known problems, has it been getting worse or better, is the neighborhood organized for crime watch and emergency preparedness. Has there been a history at that particular address?

2) Ask the beat captain for the name and contact number of the crime watch and emergency prep group and call them.

3) Take the time to knock on a few doors on the block, and talk to the actual neighbors. Their experiences and the sense of connection you feel with your neighborhood is going to make all the difference. Remember, an organized neighborhood is a safer neighborhood.
0 votes
Linda Maguire, Agent, Oakland, CA
Sat Jan 15, 2011
Many good answers. I would like to add that when looking at websites regarding crime always check the neighborhood you live in now for a comparison.
Good luck!
0 votes
Noodle, Home Buyer, Los Gatos, CA
Sun Jan 2, 2011
I lived on 55th St and MLK. Someone was shot in front of the house and a few others near the gas station. People would ring the door bell in the middle of the night and ask for money.
0 votes
Danielle Abr…, , 94707
Wed Oct 27, 2010
It is true that the crime stats web page can be off putting and does not tell the whole story, but what it can tell you is what type of crime is happening in the area. Some of the best areas have the highest burglary and car theift stats, but not high with drug and assaults. You will have to determine what your tolerance is and the only way to do that is to go and spend some time in the area at different times of the day, on different days of the week. When you are there you will see people walking and coming out of their homes, you can stop them and tell them you are considering buying on the block and would like to know what they think of the area. This will also give you an idea of who you'd be living next door to.
0 votes
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Wed May 20, 2009
The best resource for this information is the local police department or county sheriff's department. they have access to the most accurate and up to date information and are generally very willing to be helpful.

Good luck
0 votes
Susan Wageman, Both Buyer And Seller, 94536
Wed May 20, 2009
Matt recommended the police as a good source of info on neighborhoods. When I called the Oakland police to ask about a neighborhood I was considering all they did was refer me to the Oakland Crimespotting map listed in a previous answer. I, too, recommend checking out the neighborhood at different times of day, visiting local businesses, and talking to neighbors. If you don't feel comfortable, do you really want to live there?

One neighbor I talked to noted that all the neighborhood difficulties tied back to the house I was hoping to purchase. This is a case where the crime map could look scarier than the likely reality after the previous residents moved away.
0 votes
Great, great point Susan! So glad you brought this up about your specific property.
Flag Mon Feb 6, 2012
Pacita Dimac…, Agent, Oakland, CA
Tue May 12, 2009
Google Crimespotting Oakland or click on where you can pull up info on
Reports of Robbery Alerts
Reports of Aggravated Assault

You can see, nearly block by block what the situation looks like.

Hope this helps.
0 votes
Matthew Bart…, Agent, Glendora, CA
Tue May 12, 2009
Hi Tracey,

The best source for the information you're looking for is the local Police department. They should be able to answer any questions you may have. Good luck.

0 votes
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