Santa Clarita continued to record the sharpest drop in violent crimes through the end of October in areas patrolled by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department – despite a 100 percent year-over-year upswing in homicides.
There were six homicides in the Santa Clarita Valley through Oct. 31, counting a month-end murder in a Canyon Country shopping center , versus three during the first 10 months of 2010.
Violent crimes in the SCV through October 2011 numbered 315, compared to 478 through October 2010, for a 34.1 percent decline. Coming in second was tiny Avalon on Catalina Island with a 26.1 percent decline to 17 from 23.
All patrol areas posted fewer violent crimes except Marina Del Rey, which saw a 5.3 percent increase to 80 from 76 a year earlier. Countywide, violent crime in the Sheriff’s Department patrol areas fell 13 percent.
Violent crimes include homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assault.
Serious crimes – burglary, larceny, grand theft auto and arson – were down 10.6 percent in the SCV and 3.13 percent across the sheriff’s patrol area. Each individual category showed improvement in Santa Clarita except arson, which is up 8 percent on the year.
In the SCV, forcible rape was down 35.6 percent with 18 reported incidents so far in 2011 versus 28 through October 2010.
Robbery fell 27.3 percent to 93 from 128. Aggravated assault fell 37.9 percent to 198 from 319.
In property crimes other than arson, Santa Clarita showed a 5.2 percent improvement in burglary with 724 so far this year versus 764 through October 2010. Over five years, the number of reported burglaries fell 32.3 percent.
Larceny (theft) was down 11 percent year over year with 1,925 incidents reported in 2011 and 2,164 through October 2010. Grand theft auto fell 22.2 percent on the year to 250 from 321 and 52.7 percent over five years for the sharpest drop among all Part 1 crime categories.
Part 1 crimes – a combination of all violent and serious property crimes – were down 13.6 percent in Santa Clarita for the year with 3,243 reported incidents through October 2011 versus 3,754 for the same period in 2010.
Over five years, Santa Clarita’s combined Part 1 crime reports are down 33.6 percent, bested only by Avalon (down 68.2 percent since 2006) and Lancaster (down 38.7 percent).