Violent, property crime rates drop for fourth year in a row in Glendale

For the fourth year in a row, violent and property crime rates dropped in Glendale in 2012, according to figures released by police on Thursday.

The number of violent crimes — including homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assaults — fell from 258 in 2011 to 233 last year for a roughly 10% decrease, according to the Police Department’s 2012 crime statistics.

Property crimes — burglary, arson auto theft and burglary, grand and petty theft — also dipped from 3,464 incidents in 2011 to 3,051 last year, or by approximately 12%.

Police Chief Ron De Pompa said he was surprised by the downward trend because of the spree of residential burglaries in Glendale’s affluent neighborhoods that occurred early 2012.

“We expected much worse for 2012,” he said.

De Pompa attributed the decline to the department’s use of area commanders, constant analysis of crime trends and being able to predict where crimes could occur.

The Police Department began using the “predictive policing” strategy last year to examine areas with high crime activity to determine when and where an offense would occur. Police employed the strategy to deal with the rash of residential burglaries by detecting common characteristics among the thefts to deploy officers to high-target areas in the city.

Burglaries dropped from 624 in 2011 to 516 last year, while robberies were stagnant at 108 incidents.

Mayor Frank Quintero said the falling crime rates were a “testament to the Glendale police force and to the citizens of Glendale involved in their neighborhood watches.”

Still, he expressed concern over the slight increase in Part II crimes, some of which include assaults, fraud, embezzlement, vandalism and drug, sex and weapons offenses. Upticks in the number of those offenses could carry over to more serious and violent offenses over time, Quintero said.

Part II crimes increased from 7,206 in 2011 to 7,412 last year. The number of identity theft incidents also jumped from 264 in 2011 to 301 in 2012.

Gang, narcotics and vice investigations also increased last year, which De Pompa attributed to more drug activity and proactive policing.

“These are all potential indicators of things to come,” he said.

[For the Record, Jan. 18: An earlier version of this post incorrectly said it was the third year in a row of violent crime decrease, when it in fact it is the fourth.]

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