While still boasting the lowest crime rate of nearly all L.A. County sheriff’s stations, Santa Clarita Valley deputies are still working to lower the property crime rate, which has seen a small uptick, said Sheriff’s Station Capt. Paul Becker.
“It’s significantly lower of any other mainland Sheriff’s Station,” Becker said, regarding the overall number of Part I crimes. “Overall in the Santa Clarita Valley, our violent crime is down 9.9 percent.”
This week, the Sheriff’s Department released year-to-date crime figures for each of the sheriff’s stations in Los Angeles County.
The Part I crimes in the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station’s service area, which is the largest of any in Los Angeles County, have increased slightly, by 0.55 incidents per 10,000 people compared to the same time last year.
For the entire county, the rate of Part I crimes per 10,000 people is also up slightly to 101.23, from 99.61 per 10,000 people, at the same time last year.
Despite what the captain referred to as near “historically low rates,” the property crimes are up approximately 10 percent, Becker said.
“The vast majority of those are burglaries,” he said, noting that, locally, the Sheriff’s Station is working with the county’s Probation Department, having added two additional officers in an effort to lower the rate of recidivism among repeat offenders.
Approximately one-third of offenders who are released early or avoid incarceration under AB 109 are re-arrested, according to Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station figures.
Part I crimes include violent and property crimes, ranging from lesser crimes, such as larceny and petty thefts, to the most serious, such as homicide.
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies also are trying to work with the public to keep the number of property crimes down, putting out Nixle reports, cautions and even using social media to warn members of the community.
Deputies have put repeated warnings on their weekly Nixle reports in an effort to lower what are frequently referred to as “crimes of opportunity,” whereby valuables are left out and then stolen.
Under AB 109, also known as Postrelease Community Supervision Act or re-alignment, which was signed into state law by Gov. Jerry Brown in November 2011, statewide, sheriff’s departments have been giving funding for programs that are aimed at rehabilitation.
Locally, Sheriff’s Station deputies are asking residents to do their part, which includes reporting suspicious activity, and making sure their valuables are as secure as possible, according to Deputy Regina Yost, in a March interview.
“I put the same caution in my report every week,” Yost said, mentioning the reports, Tweets and other outreach efforts the Sheriff’s Station has created.
“I think a lot of people aren’t realizing what’s going on in their neighborhood. We want people to know there are programs available.”
Her Nixle report contains the following caution:
“Do not become a victim! Please do not leave valuables unattended or visible in your vehicles. Secure items in locked trunks or take personal belongings with you when you exit your vehicle. If possible, park in well-lit areas.”