Sheriff reports crime reduction

LA CRESCENTA — The number of violent and property-related crimes reported to the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station decreased by 11% for the first three months of the year, according to the most recent statistics.

So far this year, the station has handled 152 violent and property crimes, 19 fewer than the 171 reported for the same period last year, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department’s preliminary crime data released last week.

“I am not surprised,” said La Cañada Flintridge Mayor David Spence. “I am happy, but it doesn’t mean something can’t change.”

He pointed out that crime trends fluctuate, which could eventually influence the area’s overall rate.

The station’s captain, Dave Silversparre, attributed the reduction in crime to several arrests in the past year and reporting period.

The sheriff’s station, he said, has collaborated with residents to combat crime.

“We continue to educate the public to not set themselves up to become victims of a crime by securing their valuables, reporting suspicious activity and people to the station, and being our eyes and ears before we arrive at a scene,” Silversparre said in an email.

La Crescenta and other unincorporated areas within the station’s coverage area saw 68 property and violent crimes from January to March, a drop from 73 for the same time last year.

“Bottom line, if we want to see our crime stats continue to fall in challenging times, we all need to step up to the plate a bit,” said Steve Goldsworthy of the Crescenta Valley Town Council in an email.

A similar decrease in crime was seen in La Cañada — also patrolled by the station — where property and violent crimes fell from 98 last year to 84 so far this year.

The number of homicides and rapes was unchanged, but the number of robberies and aggravated assaults decreased, with an overall reduction of 26.7%, according to the sheriff’s department.

Burglaries were slightly higher in the unincorporated areas, which saw 21 thefts, up from 16 for the same period last year.

“Since our area is so safe, we tend to be lax when it comes to locking our doors and windows or safekeeping our property,” Goldsworthy said. “Property crimes continue to affect us, although they are down 9.6% overall. The challenge going forward is to get the word out to our citizens to not be so lax, to lock their doors, to not leave their purses and valuables visible in their car, to not leave their garage doors open.”

The number of auto thefts increased slightly from three incidents to five in La Cañada. The trend reversed in the unincorporated areas, from five to three.

The station’s three-month crime reduction is consistent with the trend countywide.

Spence attributed the crime decrease to Silversparre’s leadership and willingness to interact and inform residents at public meetings.

“Most residents are aware of the efforts that need to be done to protect themselves from the bad guys that come into our community,” Spence said.

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