Property crimes in the Santa Clarita Valley continued to make the lion’s share of the reported incidents to the Sheriff’s Station in May, according to numbers released recently by Sheriff Alex Villanueva.
SCV Sheriff’s Station deputies received reports of 241 Part-I crimes reported in the SCV in May 2021, according to the latest data available on LASD.org through Villanueva’s “Transparency Promise.”
May’s figure represents a slight increase over April’s 220 reported Part-I crimes, but a decrease from the May 2020 figure, which saw 260 Part-I Crimes.
Crime reporting is essentially divided into two categories for tracking purposes: Part-I crimes — tracked by FBI officials in determination of crime rates and federal resources — include arson, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, grand theft auto and arson; other crimes are considered Part-II crimes, such as forgery, fraud, narcotics violations, DUIs and vandalism, to name a few.
Theft charges such as shoplifting and vehicle burglaries are considered Part-I crimes, and made up 96 of the 241 reported incidents. (For comparison’s sake, there were 82 such property crimes in April 2021, and 96 such crimes in April 2020.)
Santa Clarita officials have for some time recognized the predominance of property crimes in the local numbers, with 45 of the 96 charges being thefts from vehicles. Sheriff’s Station officials didn’t have the exact figure immediately available as far as how many of the vehicle burglaries included thieves stealing from unlocked cars and garages, but it’s been enough in recent months that the city and Sheriff’s Station have partnered on a campaign to reduce the often preventable crimes: #GuardThatAuto, which encourages residents to lock up their vehicles and keep their belongings out of sight, and the #9pmRoutine, which encourages residents to make sure their doors and windows are secured.
“Our city has long had a reputation as one of the safest cities in the nation — we encourage residents not to take that for granted and remind residents to do what they can to protect their property by ensuring that they don’t leave valuables in plain sight and they lock doors and windows,” said Carrie Lujan, spokeswoman for the city of Santa Clarita.
Then, sharing a tip from the campaigns, she reminded residents that, “An easy way to help protect your vehicles and belongings is to park it in the garage whenever possible.”
City officials also released figures regarding repeat offenders, which have shown a significant rise over the previous year — based on the top of the list and by total volume. Santa Clarita officials requested the Sheriff’s Station track the numbers in response to concerns about District Attorney George Gascón’s policies, as well as numerous concerns from law enforcement officials about those directives.
Sheriff’s Station officials were not immediately available for comment Friday afternoon.
One statistical anomaly that stood out in the May crimes reported to the Sheriff’s Station was the higher-than-average occurrence of rapes reported in the SCV for the month.
The SCV Station received reports of six rape allegations in May — in comparison, there were three reports of rape in April, two in March, three in February and one in January.
Four of the allegations in May involved separate, unrelated incidents of teenagers who knew each other, according to a Sheriff’s Department official who spoke on condition of anonymity as the cases involved active investigations.
Investigators noted the rise was not linked to a serial attacker, and did not feel comfortable speculating as to the cause of the increase, pending further analyses of the numbers and those cases. However, the official did confirm there’s also been an increased number of reports involving special victims’ allegations in the North L.A. County region, which includes the SCV and the Antelope Valley.