Major crime across the Santa Clarita Valley is up 9.8 percent so far in 2012 compared to the same period in 2011, according to data released Tuesday by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Major crime, aka Part 1 crime, is a combination of violent and serious crime. Violent crime in the SCV rose 26.3 during the first three months of 2012 compared to the first quarter of 2011, led by a doubling in forcible rapes (10 versus 5), and 43 percent more robberies (34 versus 24). No homicides occurred in the SCV prior to the April 5 cutoff.
Serious crimes – property crimes including burglary, larceny, grand theft auto and arson – rose 8.1 percent during the period, led by a 27 percent increase in grand theft auto (85 versus 67).
The Santa Clarita Valley got more than its fair share of early releases of state prisoners under Gov. Jerry Brown’s realignment plan. Under the plan, the SCV was slated to receive 6 percent of the state’s early releases, even though the SCV has only 0.6 percent of the state’s population.
Within the Santa Clarita Valley, major crimes increased 12.2 percent in the city of Santa Clarita and just 3.3 percent in the unincorporated SCV during the first three months of 2012.
Countywide, major crime rose 5.1 percent so far in 2012, but unlike the SCV, the biggest increase came in property crimes rather than violent crime. Property crimes were up 6.09 percent across the county – led by burglary and arson – while violent crime rose just 0.82 percent countywide.
Despite the local increases, the Santa Clarita Valley’s crime rate is still 35.22 percent lower than it was five years ago – 29.8 percent lower in the city and 46.1 percent lower in the unincorporated SCV.