Crime rates trend downward in Glendale despite challenges

Violent and property crimes in Glendale dropped 12% for the first six months this year, continuing a trend set last year.

Homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assaults fell from 130 from January to June last year to 110 for the same period this year, according to Glendale Police Department mid-year crime statistics.

Property crimes — including burglaries, and grand and petty theft — decreased from 1,780 for the first six months last year to 1,567 for the same period this year.

Police Chief Ron De Pompa attributed the drop in crime rates to stepped up enforcement, predictive policing and working more closely with the community after crime trends earlier this year indicated double-digit spikes in robberies, burglaries and auto thefts.

“Our folks have worked hard and collaboratively to combat these trends and we’re pleased to see the positive results,” De Pompa said.

The spike in crime, he added, was the result some felons returning to the Los Angeles region under the state's prison realignment law, which allows certain offenders to serve sentences in county jails instead of going to state prison. De Pompa has said certain offenders have less supervision and are likely to reoffend once being released.

At the time, thieves who police said were members of a South Los Angeles gang were also burglarizing upscale in homes in Glendale and the Los Angeles region.

“We dedicated much of our resources, efforts, and strategies to specifically address these rising crime trends and we were very pleased to see the results at the six-month mark,” De Pompa said.

At the same time, violent and property crimes increased from 289 last year to 321 this year, which is an 11% jump in La Crescenta, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

While violent and property crimes rates fell again in Glendale, other crimes — such as abuse, fraud, public disorder crimes, drug and alcohol offenses and simple assaults — have increased by 3%. As those crimes increase, violent and property crimes also tend to swell, De Pompa said.

“We will have to stay on top of addressing all those conditions that lead to and invite criminal behavior in the community,” he said.

Identity theft jumped from 137 incidents for the first six months last year to 159 for the same period this year.

Fraud, De Pompa said, could jump since some offenders have received “virtually no jail time for these types of ‘non-violent’ crimes.”

Arrests for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol jumped by 72%, but the increases were mostly due to concentrated police crackdowns.

“While we have focused more attention on DUI enforcement, largely enabled through grant funding, it is also a comment on what we believe to be a changing trend in the community,” De Pompa said. “Hopefully our continued proactive stance will curb this direction."

-- Veronica Rocha, Times Community News

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