La Cañada crime numbers drop off

Burglary incidents in La Cañada Flintridge declined for the second straight month in July, with the four burglaries reported in July representing the lowest monthly count of 2012.

Crescenta Valley Sheriff's Station Capt. David Silversparre told the La Cañada Flintridge City Council on Tuesday that part of the reason for the drop from 19 burglaries in May to seven in June, and then four last month, is that residents are calling in with information that allows deputies to catch suspects in the act.

On July 24, a resident alerted deputies that a car full of suspicious-looking men was parked near Commonwealth and Berkshire avenues, leading deputies to interview the people in the car and later arrest a man, Sergio Hernandez, 22, of Los Angeles, who was hiding in the bushes.

“I commend the people that are calling in suspicious people … and I would hope people continue to call in when they see suspicious people in their neighborhood,” Silversparre said.

La Cañada has now seen 62 burglaries this year, compared to 43 at this point in 2011 and 52 in 2010.

Mayor Steve Del Guercio pointed out that with the exception of a spike in May, the year's crime statistics are right in line with the last two years.

“We are certainly working very hard and have burglary suppression programs in place,” Silversparre said. “We're taking a good step capturing burglars and taking them into custody.”

Overall, felony crimes dropped from 27 in June to 15 in July. Thefts dropped from 17 to 10, and after two assaults last month, there were none in July.

Silversparre also said detectives had successfully used fingerprints lifted from the scene of a May 11 burglary on Flanders Road to arrest a suspect, Douglas Mucker, 19, of Inglewood.

Mucker was found to be in possession of a gold Mercedes-Benz similar to one that had been seen at another La Cañada burglary, and Silversparre said detectives were working to determine if the crimes are linked.

Silversparre also said residents should be aware that thefts and strong-arm robberies of people with smart phones are on the rise throughout the county, though no cases have been reported in La Cañada. He said the crimes often occur when a thief sees a distracted person with a phone easily accessible.

“Be aware of your surroundings … and put [smart phones] away quickly so they're not stolen,” he said.

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