First published in the July 28 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.
Much to the dismay of Captain Robert Hahnlein of the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station, the city of La Cañada Flintridge saw an uptick in larceny and theft crimes in June with one-third of the incidents occurring at TJ Maxx.
Hahnlein presented a public safety update to the City Council on July 19 and stated that eight of the 22 reports of larceny and theft in LCF were at the retail chain located at 663 Foothill Blvd. According to Hahnlein, the store, which is frequently hit by shoplifters and often pops up in the sheriff’s crime report, has a “hands off” policy regarding loss prevention that fails to deter thieves from stealing.
“The facility is one of their top-rated facilities in the county,” Hahnlein told the council. “They have a lot of high-end items there, so that’s why it does a very good job for them [in terms of sales], but also … it’s kind of a target.
“It’s a loss that they’re able to deal with, but … we’re not, so we want to do something about it.”
Hahnlein recently met with loss prevention agents from the store to discuss TJ Maxx’s policies and explore ideas that would prevent thefts. He suggested more cameras be placed to better identify suspects and asked the agents to call the sheriff’s station if there is a burglary in progress.
The captain wasn’t so much concerned about the spike in crime statistics but more so about the potential of a suspect hurting someone on the way out should thefts continue to occur at the store.
“It’s not just their loss. It’s also a danger to the community,” Hahnlein said.
There was a similar incident recently at another business on Foothill Boulevard in which a suspect committed a smash-and-grab burglary at Luna Grill, and so Hahnlein assured the Council and stakeholders that extra patrol units are on the streets to monitor the area and deter criminal activity. He encouraged business owners to have employees leave the registers open and in plain sight when closed so suspects can see there is no money to be taken.
The city saw only two residential burglaries in the month of June, the lowest for any month so far this year, and one aggravated assault.
However, the first reported case of arson occurred last month, and, according to Hahnlein, it involved the victim’s pickup truck being targeted and burned, destroying the vehicle and damaging a tree.
The Flock Safety cameras with license plate reading technology located throughout the city continue to be useful, assisting the sheriffs in arresting two suspects and recovering an embezzled vehicle.
Hahnlein ended his presentation with an invitation for the community to National Night Out at the CV Sheriff’s Station on Tuesday, Aug. 2, from 6-8 p.m. The annual event allows the public to get acquainted with deputies as well as members from the fire department.