Stats show a jump in crime in Glendale

Violent and property crimes increased in Glendale through June of this year when compared to the same period last year, according to midyear crime statistics released this week by the Glendale Police Department.

Property crimes, which include burglary, theft and auto theft, increased by 7%, largely because of an 11% increase in grand- and petty-theft cases, which together jumped from 964 during the first half of last year to 1,074 during the same period this year.

Police officials attributed the spike to changes in legislation, namely AB 109, the criminal realignment law that allows low-level offenders to serve in county jail instead of state prison, and Proposition 47, which reduced penalties for several criminal offenses.

Under the changes, some shoplifting suspects are booked and released with just a citation, said Glendale Police Chief Rob Castro, recalling one suspect who was recently arrested three times in one week.

“We’re rearresting the same individuals time and time again because there is no deterrent,” Castro said. “They come knowing that, even if I get caught, even if I resist arrest, I’m going to be released on a citation.”

Violent crime, which includes homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assault, jumped 10%, from 87 incidents reported during the first half of last year to 96 during the same period this year, according to the report.

Three homicides were reported in Glendale through June of this year, up from zero during the first half of last year.

A 34-year-old man has been charged with two counts of murder after allegedly killing his grandparents with an ax at their Glendale home in June.

In April, a 21-year-old woman was found dead with a gunshot wound at the Days Inn. No arrests have been made, but detectives are investigating leads, Castro said.

The number of robberies reported in Glendale through June also increased, from 32 reported through the first half of last year to 38 during the same period this year.

The number of traffic collisions involving pedestrians jumped almost 24% midyear, from 59 incidents reported through June of last year to 73 during the same period this year.

One of the biggest challenges, Castro said, is balancing the impact of the legislation with the community’s request to focus on traffic issues.

“This is putting a new stress on us to try to keep Glendale the safe community it is, but also meet the needs of the community in terms of quality of life and traffic safety,” Castro said.