All you have to do is look at all of the great things happening throughout the Santa Clarita Valley, and some of the proactive police work our deputies have done this year, to see what can happen when a law enforcement agency works in partnership with the community it serves. This just doesn’t happen on its own. It happens because of the proactive efforts of local law enforcement, the City of Santa Clarita, the County of Los Angeles, and most importantly, you.
Representatives of the station’s Crime Prevention Unit (CPU) are pleased to announce that, as of this month, crime within the city of Santa Clarita is down approximately 2.6% compared to this same period last year. We look forward to continuing to drive the crime rate down and send that “Not in Santa Clarita” message to anyone contemplating the commission of crime in our community.
Crime in the unincorporated county areas we serve is approximately 36% higher than this time last year. This percentage is obtained by dividing total *Part-1 crimes by how many people reside in a particular area. The CPU understands it must use caution against drawing too many conclusions when analyzing this number because it is somewhat skewed by a September 2012 population shift when the City of Santa Clarita annexed 25,678 residents from the unincorporated area into the city limits. As a result of the shift, the current bases for historical crime rate comparison has changed, which will temporarily affect some comparisons and percentages.
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies know we can lower this number with your help. The CPU is working to re-establish the unincorporated area Zone Leader Deputy positions, such as those in Castaic (Zone 2) and Stevenson Ranch (Zone 3), in the coming weeks to combat any increase that may be realized. It is our goal to drive the crime rate down in the unincorporated areas we serve, especially as we enter the holiday season.
In reviewing the unincorporated crime statistics, the CPU found that approximately 22% of all unincorporated crimes are being reported by a few local area businesses near The Old Road, between Magic Mountain Parkway and Lyons Avenue. These types of commercial business crimes, whether it be shoplifting, vehicle break ins, or petty thefts, are often times crimes of opportunity.
In continuing our review the unincorporated crime statistics, the CPU found that approximately 13% of all unincorporated area crime over the past year was reported from Six Flags Magic Mountain. In late July 2013, during the prime entertainment season where attendance at the park tends to increase, station supervisors and CPU deputies met with staff from the theme park to discuss new and innovative ways to prevent thefts and crimes of opportunity, such as visitors leaving their property unattended in the park. Staff from Six Flags Magic Mountain were extremely receptive to these enforcement and prevention efforts. Working together, we are happy to report that in the past few months crime at the park has dropped substantially, even though record numbers of visitors are enjoying Six Flags Magic Mountain and patronizing the surrounding Santa Clarita Valley.
The CPU would like you to remember and follow these theft prevention and safety tips:
– Always stay alert to your surroundings!! Do not walk through a parking lot with your head down or on a cell phone.
– Avoid carrying a large amount of cash. Keep cash in your front pocket.
– If possible pay for purchases with a credit card.
– Immediately notify the credit card company if your credit card was lost or stolen.
– Have your keys ready when you leave the store.
– Don’t leave valuables in your vehicle: You’d be surprised how often this happens, but individuals leave valuable items in plain sight all the time. If you leave items in your vehicle and they’re visible, the chances your vehicle will get broken into, increase greatly.
– Place items out of sight BEFORE reaching your destination: Someone may be watching when you put your valuables under a seat or in the trunk and the moment you’re gone, a thief could break into your car. So place those items in a safe place before you get to the park, beach, baseball game, etc. Valuable items that thieves target are GPS units, MP3 players, credit cards, money, packages and so forth. If you can’t take the items with you, secure them in a safe place in your vehicle, like a locked glove compartment or your trunk.
– Lock ALL of your vehicle’s doors: This is true even if you plan on only being gone for “just a second”. Remember, it only takes seconds to steal items from your car. It’s not uncommon, for thieves to walk down a row of parked vehicles, looking for unlocked doors. Also, make sure car windows aren’t left open.
– Park in busy, well lit areas: Pick a parking spot where there is a lot of activity. Auto thieves prefer breaking into cars in isolated areas.
Don’t leave a trace: Don’t leave any sign that there might be valuables “out of sight” in your vehicle. For example: the suction cup on your dashboard, might tell thieves, that you have a GPS system in your vehicle. Leave nothing in plain view. Very few auto break-ins are “random”. The thieves usually see something out in the open or hints of possible hidden valuables.
From everyone at Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, please have a happy holiday season, remember the above safety tips, report suspicious activities to law enforecment immediatly, and take the time to interact with us on social media, and regardless of whether you live in the city of Santa Clarita, or the unincorported areas of our great valley, together we can send a Not in Santa Clarita message.
* Part-1 crimes include Homicide, Forcible Rape, Robbery, Aggravated Assault, Burglary, Larceny Theft, Grand Theft Auto, Arson
Note: The LASD Santa Clarita Valley Station provides policing services for the 62 square miles of the incorporated city of Santa Clarita and the 586 square miles of unincorporated Los Angeles County in the Santa Clarita Valley. In 2012, the city of Santa Clarita annexed 10 square miles of unincorporated Los Angeles County, creating a city population increase estimated at 25,678 and a reduction in population in unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County patrolled by the station. This shift in population has not yet been reflected in many recent statistical crime reports for 2012 and 2013. This change will have an effect on the overall city and county Part-1 crime rate comparisons and analysis. This should be considered when calculating or comparing 2012 or 2013 crime statistics.
– Deputy Josh Dubin