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Burglaries increase during first 2 months of year

Despite addition of some 25,000 new residents, violent crime moves downward

Posted: March 7, 2013 6:39 p.m.
Updated: March 7, 2013 6:39 p.m.

The city of Santa Clarita’s crime rate rose slightly during the first two months of this year compared to last, with burglaries showing the greatest increase, Capt. Paul Becker of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station said Thursday.

Despite a population jump of some 25,000 people due to two major annexations, the number of crimes by the end of February increased by just 90 compared to last year — from 477 to 567 within Santa Clarita’s boundaries, he said.

The crime rate in unincorporated areas — which lost the same population as the city picked up — dropped between February 2012 and February 2013, Local deputies responded to 77 more crimes during the first two months of 2012 compared to the first two months this year.

“We have the lowest (Sheriff’s) Station crime rate in the county except for Avalon,” Becker said, referring to the community on Catalina Island.

“The biggest issue we have is with burglaries and larceny,” he said. About 30 percent of burglaries occur when thieves steal items from garages left open and unattended, said Sgt. Darren Harris.

The captain noted that thieves stole a set of golf clubs from his own garage a few years ago while the door stood open and he went inside the house.

“And shame on me” for leaving the door open, he added.

Burglaries also rose in part because incidents of shoplifting can be labeled burglary, rather then petty theft, if it can be proven the perpetrator entered a store with the intent to steal.

In the area of violent crime, Santa Clarita saw an overall drop in numbers despite the addition of 25,000 newly counted residents. Rates for rape, assault and robbery all declined from February 2012 to February 2013, while homicide remained flat at zero.
on Twitter @jamesarthurholt




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