“Suppression Patrol” deputies disrupt burglary, robbery, arrest 9

Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Captain Robert Lewis at the Newhall Ranch Road Bridge Widening groundbreaking on May 2, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

Local patrol deputies carrying out a “suppression patrol” of suspected high crime areas arrested nine people Wednesday night, disrupting a burglary and thwarting a robbery while each of the respective crimes were unfolding.

On the heels of a successful patrol strategy which saw the arrest of a dozen suspects earlier this month, deputies launched a similar operation mid-week, netting six drug arrests, two burglary suspects and a robbery suspect.

“It’s about being in the right place at the right time,” Deputy Chris Craft, spokesman for the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station told The Signal Thursday.

Captain Robert Lewis initiated the suppression patrol soon after stepping into SCV’s top cop position about four months ago. The first suppression patrol went into effect in May, netting three arrests.

The idea behind the “suppression patrol” strategy was to identity areas showing a higher incidence of crime and then dispatch a team of patrol deputies to concentrate on those areas.

“We had an operation in Canyon Country Wednesday,” Craft said. “We had a team of deputies saturate a high crime area and, as a result, made multiple arrests.”

A man and a woman were arrested on suspicion of burglary after “suppression patrol” deputies came across a burglary in progress on the 27300 block of Evie Lane, Craft said.

Robert Nunez, a 20-year-old unemployed resident of Santa Clarita, and Alexandra Vantifflin, 19, also of Santa Clarita, were arrested about 4 p.m.

They were placed in custody with bail set for each at $50,000.

Deputies patrolling the same general area around Jakes Way also came across a robbery in progress near the intersection of Sierra Highway and Soledad Canyon Road, Craft said.

“They came across a robbery at a drug store and arrested a suspect in the parking lot of the 7-Eleven store on Soledad,” Craft said.

Santa Clarita resident Gustavo Orozco, who turns 46 next week, was arrested on suspicion of robbery, a felony, shortly after 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Orozco was detained and held on $50,000 bail.

In addition to the three arrests made from having patrolled an area identified as a high crime area, deputies also arrested six people on drug offenses, Craft said.

“Deputies seized various amounts of heroin and meth,” Craft said, referring to methamphetamines.

“With these suppression patrols we hope to show that we are out there,” he said.

Earlier this month, deputies enjoyed a similar success with a suppression patrol carried out in parts of Newhall, Canyon Country, and Saugus on June 1.

In that operation, a dozen suspected criminals including one woman were arrested, with charges ranging from drug possession and sales to weapons charges.

One individual was arrested with a large quantity of methamphetamine with the intent to sell. Another suspect wanted for a burglary was located and arrested.

In May, deputies carried out “suppression patrols” in response to a rash of overnight commercial burglaries.

Deputies made at least three arrests and halted what they believe to have been a continuing crime trend.

In reporting the success of May’s “suppression patrols” directive, Miller said: “The SCV Sheriff’s station plans to continue with the “suppression patrols.”

On Wednesday, deputies made good on that promise.


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