Police discuss South Glendale crime concerns

SOUTH GLENDALE — Glendale police officials fielded questions on Wednesday night from a few dozen residents concerned about gang activity, vandalism and response tactics.

Residents who attended the meeting at Horace Mann Elementary School asked a panel of law enforcement officials about identify theft, how to report crimes, graffiti and gang activity.

Gang Det. Jeff Davis, who grew up in South Glendale, told residents that graffiti activity has spiked in recent months, adding that the trend usually is tied to the release of inmates.

"This is home to us…so we are very serious about combating crime down here," he said.

Gang detectives, he said, have started reaching out to teenage taggers to focus their efforts on other activities.

"A lot of these kids, they want to work with the police and they are not trying to be bad kids," Davis said.

The question and answer session was part of a larger meeting aimed at informing South Glendale residents about crime trends in the area.

Police gave residents tips on protecting themselves from burglaries, the area's most significant crime threat.

Burglary Det. Robert William showed residents a video of a thief who smashed a car window and stole a navigation system from the car in about 30 seconds.

There were 150 auto burglaries in the area in the past year, and 15 in the past 30 days, he said.

Another 180 home burglaries have occurred in the past six months, and 14 in the past 30 days, William added.

By attending the meeting, longtime resident Karla Campos, 24, said she was able to obtain important contact information that she normally wouldn't have.

"I think it helps a lot because some of us don't know who to go and to talk to," she said.

Police officials, including Police Chief Ron De Pompa, encouraged residents to report crimes or any suspicious activity and to join neighborhood watch groups to prevent burglaries in the area.

South Glendale residents often remain anonymous and don't report crimes because they fear some repercussion, officials said.

Community Officer Blanca Aguila advised residents at the meeting not to be afraid to report suspicious activity because "those are the things you can affect change on."

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