HomeCity Government NewsOfficials Present Crime, Fire Updates to City Leaders

Officials Present Crime, Fire Updates to City Leaders

Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station Capt. Robert Hahnlein and L.A. County Fire Chief Pat Sprengel reported fire and crime stats for the month of January at the City Council meeting on Tuesday.
In addition, the City Council honored the deputies and firefighters involved in the structure fire on Jan. 30 that left one resident dead.
The city staff also updated the Council on incidents during the recent rainfall and where voting centers will be available for residents for the March 5 election.
For the month of January, the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station reported eight residential burglaries, and updated the Council on some leads for some cases in the city.
There was one robbery in the month, which was at the Verizon store in the city, where two suspects held everyone at the back of the store with a gun.
“I also responded [to the store] and major crimes have investigated it and have some leads on the case,” said Hahnlein.
There were two aggravated assaults in the month of January, one involving an assault of a victim by a person wielding an angle grinder.
Two commercial burglaries were reported and 18 thefts in January.
A theft occurred over the weekend at the Target in the Town Center, where a suspect stole an electric bike, but deputies apprehended the suspect, who was hiding in a nearby bush.
Hahnlein spoke more in-depth about the residential burglaries and said that criminals are getting smarter.
“They are disabling some alarm panels, and they are also damaging some of the cameras,” which occurred in three incidents, Hahnlein said.
Hahnlein reassured the community by reporting that the department has added 20 extra patrols each month this year, “and we are getting more cars out of the streets to be visually out there to try to determine the criminal activity.”
One vandalism incident occurred in the month of January, where a suspect drilled into somebody’s gas tank and emptied the gas. Hahnlein said that the suspects were identified by detectives and apprehended the suspects’ vehicle. They got a search warrant and arrested two individuals for the crime.
Last year in January, there was a total of 489 flock camera alerts and hits from 374 in 2022.
“The cameras are working really well,” said Hahnlein.
Hahnlein reported an increase in arrests in January with 10 in December and 14 in January, while residential burglaries decreased by one.
Councilman Kim Bowman asked Hahnlein why traffic statistics have not been available for a couple of months.
Hahnlein said that the traffic sergeant at the station had retired, and the department is trying to replace him now.
Meanwhile, Sprengel reported 171 total responses, three fires and one structure fire, which left one resident dead, another resident injured and one firefighter with a burn injury.
Eight hazardous conditions were recorded in January, two of which were gas leaks with no damage and six were powerlines down.
There were 10 traffic accidents reported, one including a vehicle and a pedestrian on Jan. 31 at Foothill Boulevard and Angeles Crest Highway.
Sprengel closed his report with a safety tip of the month, as he explained the dangers of carbon monoxide — more commonly known as the “silent killer” because it is an odorless, tasteless gas that cannot be seen.
Carbon monoxide poisoning can result from faulty furnaces or other heating appliances, like a clothes dryer or vehicles left running in garages.
Symptoms include headaches, nausea and drowsiness. To avoid poisoning, ensure all fuel-burning vented equipment is vented to the outdoors, keep the venting for exhaust clean and unblocked, and don’t leave your car running in a garage, even if the garage doors are open.
“And lastly, thank you to City Council staff for the ongoing support for both fire and law enforcement, not just for the recognition of the recent incident but on a regular basis is very much appreciated,” said Sprengel.


Mayor Rick Gunter and the other City Councilmembers took some time during the meeting on Tuesday to honor the four firefighters and four deputies who assisted in a house fire on Jan. 30 and helped save two victims.
“Today we come together to acknowledge and commend truly heroic actions of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies and firefighters who demonstrated exceptional courage in the face of a recent emergency,” said Gunter.
He expressed the city’s deepest sympathies to the family of the man who died in the fire.
“In the face of adversity, our community has once again shown strength and solidarity,” Gunter said while tearing up. “We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all those who played a crucial role in saving the lives of the two family members.”
Plaques were given to each deputy and firefighter for their “exceptional bravery and collaboration.”
Deputies Christopher Fort, Andre Cornejo, Mitchell Laudano, Eduardo Olmos were recognized, along with firefighters Christian Schenk, Austin Jones, Justin Amparan, Phil Dirkin and Battalion Chief Chris Allender.


Although Southern California has seen increased rainfall in the month of February, Director of Public Works Patrick DeChellis informed the Council that there have been no major incidents caused by the rain in the past week.
“In fact, I couldn’t believe it myself,” said DeChellis. “So, I went out and checked a couple of our hotspots and there are no major problems anywhere in the city that we are aware of.”
The National Weather Service said that the storm that began Monday will bring numerous showers. As of Tuesday, there was 1.79 inches of rain reported in LCF.


Tania Garcia, the city’s clerk shared some information on the upcoming general municipal election that will take place on March 5.
The La Cañada Unified School District is opening up its district office to voters from March 2 to March 4 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and March 5, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. to cast their ballots in person.
The city will also be hosting a one-day flex voting center at City Hall on Feb. 26 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“Or if you prefer to drop-off your ballot, you can at the La Cañada Public Library until election day at 8 p.m.,” said Garcia.
Gunter emphasized the need to vote.
“Voting is a seminal part of being an American,” said Gunter. “It’s absolutely who we are and why it’s important. So, please everyone, no matter who you’re voting for or what you are voting for, please make sure you vote.”

First published in the February 22 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.


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