Violent crime rates on the downturn for Santa Clarita Valley

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department seal. File Photo
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The violent crime rate within the Santa Clarita Valley dropped by 12% between 2019 and 2020, but the property crime rate increased by 6.39%.

In a statement to the Castaic Area Town Council on Thursday, Capt. Justin Diez told the council that the crime rate, for that area, was on par to be the lowest on record.

“You know, 2014 was the lowest crime rate on record. And in 2018, when Capt. (Robert) Lewis was here and I was his operations lieutenant, we beat that record,” said Diez when addressing the town council specifically about Castaic. “Then we beat it in 2019 … and now, in 2020, we’re just on par to beat that 2019 crime record.”

This trend of being lower than previous years, at least for violent crimes, is being seen throughout the SCV.

From Jan. 1 through April 30 of this year, there were 88 violent crimes, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department crime statistics. Of those, 50 were aggravated assaults, 29 were robberies, eight were rapes and one was criminal homicide.

From Jan. 1 through April 30 of last year there were 100 violent crimes. Of those, 46 were aggravated assaults, 32 were robberies, 21 were rapes and one was criminal homicide.

The overall decrease for this year, between January and April, which is the latest information available, was 12%.

However, property crimes, when comparing these two periods in time, saw a 44-count increase. Burglaries, larceny thefts and grand theft autos all saw increases while arsons decreased by half, going from four to two when comparing this year against last year.

The drop in violent crime is greater than what the department saw countywide when comparing Jan. 1 through April 30, 2019, and Jan. 1 through April 30, 2020.

The department saw a 2.61% decrease in violent crime countywide and a 4.83% drop in property crimes.

The countywide number of crimes overall dropped 4.39%, but the SCV totals increased by 4.44%, according to publicly available LASD crime statistics.

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