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Crime rates up in SCV

L.A. County Sheriff’s Department releases numbers that show rape, robbery and assault cases have ris

Posted: October 11, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: October 11, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Rape, robbery and assault cases are all up in the Santa Clarita Valley, but our top cop says the numbers must be weighed against the lowest crime rate seen here in a quarter century.

“You have to remember that in 2010 we had the lowest crime rate in 25 years in Santa Clarita (Valley) and last year was 9 percent lower than that,”  Captain Paul Becker of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station told The Signal on Wednesday.

“So when we see a 9 percent increase in crime overall, we’re really returning to the level of crime we saw in 2010.”

On Wednesday, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department released its year-to-date crime statistics for all county stations, including the local sheriff’s station.

Although it’s been a homicide-free year in the Santa Clarita Valley, latest crime figures show an increase in forcible rape, aggravated assault and robbery.

Property crimes including burglary, larceny theft, grand theft auto and arson are also up over last year at this time.

Rape Reports

So far this year, deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station have investigated reports of 26 forcible rapes compared to  the 15 reported for the same time period last year, a 73 percent increase.

Out of 26 cases of forcible rape — separate from cases of statutory rape — at least 22 of those involved a perpetrator known to the victim, Becker said.

As well, at least 10 of the 26 cases reported this year were for crimes allegedly committed in previous years — two last year, four in 2009, three in 2008 and one in 2003.

“When you look at how many stranger rapes have occured, we’ve had two,” Becker said.

In each of those two cases, a suspect was arrested and remains in custody awaiting trial.

Known Perpetrator

The most significant jump in violent crime for the Santa Clarita Valley this year was for aggravated assault.

There have been 242 cases of assault reported to local deputies in 2012 compared to 180 logged last year by the end of September — a 34.5 percent jump.

At least 28 of the reported cases of aggravated assault — defined as assaults resulting in injury or a hospital visit — involved domestic violence and 111 involved suspects known to the victim, Becker said.

“This is a hard one to control from a law enforcement perspective because many involve alcohol,” he said. “We may get a report of a family member or girlfriend/boyfriend fighting, arguments at parties that elevate to aggravated assault.”

In the case of robberies, deputies responded to 102 incidents compared to 80 this time last year, up more than 27 percent.

In at least 58 of the reported robberies this year, local deputies have identified or arrested the robber, Becker said.

“These are not the gun-in-your-face type of robberies,” he said. “Many of them involve someone grabbing a cell phone or iPad and running.”



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