Stats show crime decrease in 2010

The number of major crimes committed in La Cañada Flintridge fell last year by more than 11% compared to 2009, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department records.

Incidents regarded by deputies as major, or "Part One," crimes include murder, rape, arson, aggravated assault, robbery, burglary and auto and other thefts.

Because the city experiences only a small number of violent crimes each year, improvements came primarily through reductions in property crimes, said Capt. Dave Silversparre of the Crescenta Valley Sheriff's Station.

For the first time since 2005, the city's annual burglary total fell below 100. The 94 that occurred in 2010 amounted to a 7.8% reduction from last year's total of 102 — a figure already much lower than the 156 burglaries logged in 2008 and 151 in 2007.

Of 2010 burglaries, 62 were of homes or attached garages, while the others were of businesses or structures not attached to homes.

Totals for grand thefts, petty thefts and thefts from vehicles numbered 236, down 11.3% from 266 last year.

Silversparre, who took command of the station in April 2008, credited increased community vigilance as well as the work of deputies.

"I look at it as a community partnership," said Silversparre," with the community being our eyes and ears," by calling in reports of suspicious persons, preventing crime by securing their homes and property and keeping an eye on neighbors' wellbeing.

There were 13 vehicle thefts (down from 17 last year) and four arson incidents (down from nine). No murders took place in the city in 2010.

Though the number of aggravated-assault victims rose from 10 to 12, several of those victims were deputies attacked by a single allegedly-drug-fueled suspect earlier this year.

Two rapes were reported in 2010, but one of them was a 2009 incident that was reported by a social worker after being informed of the incident by the victim some time after it occurred. In both cases the victim was familiar with the perpetrator, said Sgt. Ray Harley.

Year-end statistics for crimes categorized as "Part Two" offenses, such as vandalism, DUI and illegal drug possession, were not immediately available.

In the first 11 months of 2010 there were 77 narcotics-related arrests in the city, most of them for marijuana use, and just 27 of them involving La Cañada Flintridge residents, said Silversparre.

Key to winning the fight on crime, said Harley, is for residents to take the first steps in preventing it — securing valuables and staying alert about their surroundings.

"We don't want to let our guard down, but continue to work with the community so we can maintain the positive reductions we've had," said Silversparre.

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