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Deputies crack down on hard-to-reach areas of Canyon Country

Two arrested, at least 8 warned in patrols of bike paths, wash

Posted: November 7, 2011 5:48 p.m.
Updated: November 7, 2011 5:48 p.m.

Sheriff's deputies arrested two people on drug-related charges and issued warnings to at least eight others Monday during a crackdown in difficult-to-patrol areas in Canyon Country.

Deputies used motorized scooters to patrol the Santa Clara River bed, bike trails and other hard-to-get-to areas in response to crime trends in the area, including the fatal shooting last week during a robbery at a Canyon Country strip mall.

"With the recent events that have occurred, like the shooting, we look at that trend and respond, absolutely," said Sgt. Darren Harris, who headed the crackdown Monday.

Harris said two people were arrested for drug dealing Monday, one on what will likely be felony charges.

Deputies also questioned three others - including two on probation and one with a restraining order to stay out of an area liquor store - and issued warnings to at least eight others in relation to offenses such as loitering and alcohol consumption.

The crackdown using T3 personal mobility devices purchased by the city of Santa Clarita for the Sheriff's Department is part of the local station's zone monitoring program, aimed at providing quick response to crime trends.

"We're looking at crime incrementally," Harris said.

"We're breaking down all the different areas with our crime prevention units. This (crackdown) is just another component of that."

Canyon Country is broken into two zones.

On Monday, crackdown team members Harris and Deputy Brian Rooney - zone leader for Castaic and Val Verde - covered turf inside both Canyon Country zones using motorized T3s.
"We ... checked all the paseos, trials and back alleys all the way across," Harris said.

"The T3s give are very quiet and they give us the ability to get into small areas and around different complexes," he said. "They never know where we're going to pop out."

Deputy Jeff Jackson, zone leader for the area east of Sierra Highway, was also part of the team.

A fourth deputy, working undercover in an apartment complex on Sierra Highway, witnessed a drug deal that led to an arrest about noon Monday.

"Our undercover guy witnessed a drug transaction, so we brought in the marked unit and effected a traffic stop here on the vehicle," Harris said. "The suspect then ran through the car wash ... one of our other units got him on the other side.

"We arrested him on what's going to be a felony," Harris said. "He had a loaded syringe."





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