First published in the Nov. 26 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.
Though there were fewer crimes reported in October than any other month so far this year, the crime rate in La Cañada Flintridge is on pace to be the highest in five years, and the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station is working to mitigate the alarming trend going into the holiday season.
Captain Robert Hahnlein updated the City Council on LCF’s crime statistics, which compares it to the previous five years, through October, and there have already been a total of 312 part I offenses — serious crimes such as robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, theft, sex offenses and homicide — reported. The previous high through 10 months was 295 in 2019, and the lowest in the past five years was 204 in 2021.
“Almost every category is up. I know last year and the year before are probably not great years to compared with COVID and everything but looking at the five-year [stats] and seeing things up is a little worrisome to me,” Mayor Keith Eich told Hahnlein during a City Council meeting on Nov. 15.
There were only 12 incidents of larceny and theft last month, but that is one of the offenses that is boosting the crime statistics. Aggravated assault is also on the rise with another reported case in October for a 10-month total of 15. The previous high during the same period was last year when there were eight incidents of aggravated assault.
There were 10 burglaries, seven of which were residential, and another reported rape last month. Hahnlein said the report was filed by someone who accused his uncle of molesting him as a minor in 2004.
Hahnlein assured the City Council and residents that he and his deputies are working on bringing the figures down.
“We’re going to have a special team out this week just to do some more patrol saturation, and we’ve been monitoring surrounding cities and keeping in close contact to see what trends are circulating around us before they hit here,” Hahnlein said.
The captain believes some of the burglary incidents are inside jobs because burglars seem to know residents with safes in their homes and target those. Hahnlein asked that residents fortify the rear entrances of their residences and purchase a camera system because many LCF homes are not visible from the street, which makes it difficult for deputies to see suspicious activity.
“We don’t know if you’re getting burglarized or not unless somebody calls,” Hahnlein said.
City Manager Mark Alexander added that in some of the crime reports he read, people had an alarm system but didn’t activate it. Hahnlein urged residents to always remember to turn on their alarms, even if they are out for a brief period of time.
After hearing from concerned parents, the CV Sheriff’s Station began monitoring the traffic situation at La Cañada Elementary. Hahnlein said they issued 10 citations in the area last month.
“Thank you for your efforts at LCE, too,” Eich said. “I know there are a lot of concerned parents and residents over there. I hope those 10 citations that you gave out don’t become repeat offenders.”