By Capt. Chris Blanek
Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station
As most of you are aware, there have been recent news articles concerning two home invasion robberies in La Cañada Flintridge. Although alarming and causing great concern, it is important to clarify some of the facts and what is being done.
It is the job of your Sheriff’s Department to keep residents safe and to do everything possible to identify the suspects and bring them to justice. I would also like to stress that during times of a serious crime, the Sheriff’s Department needs your support more than ever. Remember, we are here all year long for you, patrolling your streets, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We have a dedicated staff of deputies and professional staff. Most of the residents know us and enjoy a great community relationship.
I have read many emails circulating throughout the city recently. Although I understand where some of the comments come from, I feel it is important to arm you with facts. Regarding Part 1 serious crime in La Cañada Flintridge, I report monthly in person at the LCF City Council meeting. Most people who attend know that crime is low. Murder, rape, assaults and robbery are usually reported to be zero. There are few other cities that can boast such numbers.
In October, we had three residential burglaries, followed by six in November and six in December. Some of these burglaries have occurred because a garage door was left open. I am always surprised the city has an incredibly low car theft rate, too. Again, most cities would love to have a crime rate you can count on one hand and would gladly trade what they have. I owe this success to the hard-working deputies and detective staff who never tire. Some even live in the city they patrol. They have a caring attitude and it shows.
Last month, we sustained two home invasion robberies. Though unfortunate, I am relieved there were no injuries. I wish I had a crystal ball to prevent these from happening, but I don’t. We know criminals are now traveling from area to area looking for targets. What I can do is keep you apprised of what your Sheriff’s Department is doing to solve these atrocities and what’s being implemented to prevent more.
To start, we have already augmented our normal patrols. Additional deputies have been placed in marked patrol units to increase our presence. This will give us even greater response times should a crime occur.
As you know, La Cañada Flintridge has some of the shortest response times in Los Angeles County. Our average emergency response is between three to four minutes, priority calls seven minutes and routine calls 11-15 minutes. Any type of felony calls are considered an emergency and will be given the highest priority. The city also has the luxury of using other patrol units during an emergency. Units in La Crescenta, Montrose, Angeles Forest, Altadena and Temple Station are just a few of the examples of getting patrol units to a location fast. The same is true for them should they need us.
We are also bringing on board the Sheriff’s Major Crimes Bureau — Burglary Task Force. This task force is countywide and has many recent successes with the capture of numerous suspects. Using crime trends, crime analysis, new technology and surveillance, the Burglary Crime Task Force has solved what would have been unsolved burglaries.
Suspects have been arrested spanning to regions as far as Orange, Ventura and even Santa Barbara counties. La Cañada Flintridge has brought this team on board in the past and will continue to renew our relationship as needed. Remember, these crimes are not just occurring here, they are occurring in all of our sister cities. We are all in this together. We have witnessed firsthand the poorly executed propositions of 47 and 57 and the reduction of state prisoners into the overcrowded county jail system. This has caused early release of inmates who have served only a fraction of their time. Please do your homework before voting in future elections.
It should also be important to point out the Sheriff’s Department, city manager and City Council enjoy a teamwork relationship. As information is shared and deemed concerning to the quality of life we enjoy in our quiet community, I am always pleased to receive the financial backing and reassuring support to eliminate any crime issues facing us. I say “us” because we are all working together to meet the goal of living in one of the safest cities in California. I take this job seriously and will use every tool necessary to sustain our great quality of life.
Any questions or concerns can be addressed to me or any of my staff. I believe once you get to know us, you will also realize we are here to serve and continue the trust we have instituted for so many years.