City Lauds Residential Burglary Stymie in March

“Zero,” Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Captain Chris Blasnek said. “Zero, zero.”
He was, at Council Jonathan Curtis’ request, repeating the March tally of residential burglaries in La Cañada Flintridge.
City Council members wished to highlight the drop following an uptick late last year and early this year. In January, 14 residential burglaries were recorded in the city, followed by four in February. So far, two residential burglaries have been reported in April.
“It was a lot of hard work,” Blasnek said. “You saw the extra units, we had our burglary-robbery suppression team, and I think it worked. And it wasn’t just us; it was all the neighboring cities, as far as Agoura Hills.” Continue reading “City Lauds Residential Burglary Stymie in March”

LCUSD Governing Board Considers More Safety Measures

The 17th school shooting in the nation this year occurred Tuesday morning at a high school in Maryland. On Tuesday night, concerned members of the La Cañada Unified School District community reconvened at a Governing Board meeting to talk security locally.
“Everything we can do, we will,” Superintendent Wendy Sinnette said.
That includes anything from inviting a pack of drug-sniffing dogs to visit the La Cañada High School campus to scheduling conversations with architects about fencing at all of the district’s traditionally open campuses. Continue reading “LCUSD Governing Board Considers More Safety Measures”

Teen Vaping is a Growing Concern

Photo by Mirjam Swanson / OUTLOOK
Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Deputy Eric Matejka offers a lesson on fast-moving vaping trends at the YMCA’s Strategic Partners Network meeting last week at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital.

Deputy Eric Matejka said he was stunned that so many parents at a recent La Cañada Unified School Board meeting were unfamiliar with the concept of “Juuling,” and unaware of how hot a trend vaping — e-cigarette smoking — has become.
“I haven’t caught a kid with a cigarette in years,” said Matejka, the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’ Station’s dedicated resource officer, who spends a lot of time at La Cañada High School. “But the Juuls and the vapes have gotten really big.” Continue reading “Teen Vaping is a Growing Concern”

City, Sheriff Share Crime-Stopper Tactics

Photo by Mirjam Swanson / OUTLOOK
Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Capt. Chris Blasnek encourages residents to be observant and to call the local sheriff’s station whenever they spot something that looks suspicious.

City officials and local law enforcement personnel hear you, La Cañada Flintridge, and they’re on the case. That was the message at Tuesday’s City Council meeting, much of which was dedicated to sharing various tactics being used to combat a recent uptick in crime.
Echoing the concerns of many in the community, Amy Bernhard told council members that after living in LCF for 17 years, recent crimes — including a pair of home invasions in December — have made her feel unsafe in the city for the first time. She said she found herself setting the alarm during the day when she was home. Continue reading “City, Sheriff Share Crime-Stopper Tactics”

‘Significant’ Arrests Could Be Tied to Local Break-Ins

Temple Sheriff’s Station deputies arrested four males who authorities believe could be responsible for several residential burglaries along the 210 Freeway corridor and within the San Gabriel Valley and Foothill areas, according to a news release from the Major Crimes Bureau-Metro Detail.
“A significant arrest was made the other night of a residential burglary crew,” Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Capt. Chris Blasnek said in an email. “It’s unknown if they’re the same ones who have been hitting [La Cañada Flintridge], but I’m hoping it puts a serious dent in any future crimes.” Continue reading “‘Significant’ Arrests Could Be Tied to Local Break-Ins”

Neighbors Look to Private Patrols for Additional Safety

Flintridge area residents are lining up reinforcements in response to the pair of home invasions reported last month in their neighborhood.
Homeowners are in the process of contracting the Pasadena-based California Metro Patrol, an armed private security company, to help patrol Commonwealth Avenue, Woodleigh Lane and possibly parts of Berkshire Avenue, said Dharshi Chindris, whose home has been broken into twice.
“We’re trying to get the whole neighborhood thing going,” said Chindris, whose family temporarily hired its own armed patrol for its property following the second reported invasion on New Year’s Eve. She said she hopes the neighborhood patrol will provide more long-term security.
“I guess it’s time to do whatever we have to do,” she said.

OUTLOOK photo
Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s deputies have increased their presence in the
area of La Cañada Flintridge where a pair of home invasions were
reported in December.

Continue reading “Neighbors Look to Private Patrols for Additional Safety”

Prowling Suspect Evades Authorities; PCR Locked Down

Palm Crest Elementary School was locked down after a man with a neck tattoo reading “Wendy” was spotted around noon Tuesday trespassing in a garage in the 1600 block of Alta Canyada Road.
The suspect, who was described as a Hispanic man in his mid-30s, was wearing an orange utility vest and hat, according to Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Deputy Eric Matejka, who was among the law enforcement personnel involved with a containment set up in response to the prowling call.
In the end, the man avoided detection, Matejka said, adding that the lockdown was lifted after a few minutes and nothing was reported stolen.
“At one house, one resident confronted him in the garage and he took off running,” Capt. Chris Blasnek said. “So we set up a little area containment to see if we could find him. We even had the helicopter overhead for a while but we did not locate him.” Continue reading “Prowling Suspect Evades Authorities; PCR Locked Down”

Deputy Thwarts Escape of Suspects

Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Deputy Eric Matejka’s local knowledge helped him arrest a pair of suspects with gang affiliations last week on charges of grand theft auto, reasonable cause burglary and possession of burglary tools and brass knuckles.
The school resource officer at La Cañada High School, Matejka was on campus at about 11 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 11, when he heard a call reporting two vehicles seen attempting to commit a theft in the 4800 block of Mesa Vista Drive.
“The call came in off of Descanso [Drive], by Chevy Chase [Drive], so I figured if they were going eastbound on Descanso, they were going to go across Berkshire, so I was going to wait at Berkshire Place — and as soon as I got there, they came around the corner,” Matejka said by phone Wednesday.
Matejka, who has patrolled LCF for 16 years, instituted a traffic stop of the gray 2017 Hyundai (a green Subaru wasn’t located). He said he noticed immediately that the car had no license plate on the front and a paper plate on the back. Continue reading “Deputy Thwarts Escape of Suspects”

Residents’ Concerns Addressed by Sheriff’s Department

By Capt. Chris Blanek
Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station

Capt. Chris Blasnek

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. Continue reading “Residents’ Concerns Addressed by Sheriff’s Department”