SCV captain promotes outreach as crime reports decline in June

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The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station recorded 13 fewer Part-I crimes for June 2021 versus June 2020, and about 13.6% fewer Part-I crime reports than the previous month, according to data available on the Sheriff’s Department website. 

Sheriff Alex Villanueva releases preliminary crime data each month on the LASD website, which is also recorded and analyzed by FBI officials, who use Part-I crimes to determine an area’s crime rate. 

Part-I crimes include arson, rape, robbery aggravated assault, burglary, grand theft auto and murder; other crimes generally considered less serious are known as Part-II crimes, such as forgery, fraud, narcotics violations, DUIs and vandalism, among others. 

In the Santa Clarita Valley for June, the SCV Sheriff’s Station received 212 reports of Part-I crimes, including about 105 property crimes that were largely various types of burglaries and thefts, according to LASD data. Larceny reports, which include non-burglary thefts, are up approximately 8%. 

These so-called “crimes of opportunity” — which include thefts from areas that are unsecured, such as when people enter unlocked cars and homes — continue to be a big problem, despite efforts like “#9pmRoutine,” a city-Sheriff’s Station social media campaign designed to prevent theft. 

“People are stealing from unlocked cars, they’re stealing stuff off porches, they’re stealing stuff out of open garages,” said Capt. Justin Diez of the SCV Sheriff’s Station, while offering a reminder about “Guard That Auto,” another campaign, which seeks to discourage vehicle theft. “And (grand theft auto reports) continue to be a problem, especially with people leaving their key fobs in the car.” 

Countywide, the Sheriff’s Department received 13,613 reports of crimes, including Part-I and Part-II — 40.2% of those were in the more serious category. In the Santa Clarita Valley, the percentage of the more serious Part-I crimes was 32.4%, with a total of 654 reports of Part-I and Part-II crimes in June.  

Another way the Sheriff’s Station is looking to keep crime down is through outreach and awareness, with Diez planning to be out in the community more now that it’s safer to do so. A pair of Coffee with a Cop meet-and-greet events — one at Elevate Church and another this week at the Havana Savannah coffee shop — are just the start, now that businesses are opening up again. 

Another public safety message Diez is reminding residents of during his outreach is the Crime Prevention Unit and its zone leaders, which he referred to as a “one-stop shop” for SCV residents — deputies who can be called for help with addressing most any non-emergency situations, whether they have a question about how to handle a dispute with a neighbor to how they can form a neighborhood watch and work with their neighbors to help monitor crime. 

The Crime Prevention Unit is a team at the Sheriff’s Station that has a representative for each of eight separate areas in the Santa Clarita Valley, with each person responsible for monitoring crime trends and public safety concerns in their respective areas. 

“The main thing is your zone leader is your one-stop shop for anything you need other than an emergency,” Diez said, referring to a 911 situation. “They can help with crime, they can help with crime mitigation, they can help with resources in Santa Clarita — that can be anything from drugs and alcohol to mental illness to veterans services.”

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