The number of crimes in Glendale saw a slight decline last year, according to numbers recently released by the police department.
Year-end statistics from the Glendale Police Department showed a 2.4% drop in the overall crime rate, which includes violent and property crimes.
Violent crimes slid by around 26.3%, while property crimes saw a 0.319% reduction.
While not a dramatic decline, department spokesman Sgt. Dan Suttles said it’s nice to see the crime rate fall from the previous year.
“We’re happy to see it go down, but we’re definitely not going to let our guard down,” he said.
Violent crimes include homicides, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults. Last year, 202 violent crimes were reported, compared with 274 in 2017.
Homicides saw a 66.6% drop, going from three to one. The lone homicide last year was the unsolved shooting death of 48-year-old Suren Tahmazyan, who was killed in the parking lot of the Ararat restaurant on San Fernando Road on Oct. 13.
Rapes saw a 25% decline, going from 32 to 24, while robberies went down by about 39.4%, with 77 cases last year compared with 127 in 2017.
Aggravated assaults saw the smallest reduction out of violent crimes, going from 112 to 100, about a 10.7% drop.
Suttles said many violent incidents are “crimes of passion” and are more difficult to prevent than property crimes, which he called “crimes of opportunity.”
Property crimes include burglaries, auto thefts, auto burglaries, grand thefts, petty thefts and arson incidents. Glendale saw around 3,120 property crimes last year, while 3,130 were reported in 2017.
Burglaries saw an 8.8% reduction, going from 498 instances in 2017 to 454 last year. Auto thefts dropped from 316 reported cases in 2017 to 265 in 2018, about a 16% decline.
Glendale saw 441 auto burglaries in 2017, while only 431 were reported in 2018, a slight reduction of roughly 2.3%.
Grand thefts, with stolen items whose value was $950 or higher, actually saw a rise last year, going from 363 to 466, about a 28.4% increase.
Petty thefts saw a dip last year, but were still the most reported crimes in Glendale. They went from 1,499 to 1,493, about a 0.4% decline.
Arsons dropped by 15.4%, going from 13 cases in 2017 to 11 in 2018.
Suttles said a way for the department to help put a dent in the crime rate has been to take a more proactive approach to policing rather than just responding to calls. He said officers are encouraged to investigate anything that may look unusual or out of place while in the field and engage more with residents.
Another way is for officers to have higher visibility around the city, Suttles said. Officers are encouraged to write their reports where they can be widely seen and act as a deterrent.
Something as simple as having a police cruiser parked in a store’s lot could help curb small offenses like illegal parking and loitering, according to Suttles.
“Just being there and having a presence is going to get rid of some of those ancillary criminal activities that take place,” he said.
While the year-end numbers only provide a snapshot of crime in Glendale, Suttles said the department does pay attention to the statistics. He said Glendale police officials actively look for different ways and technologies to help keep the numbers as low as possible.