Home Alarms Helping Impede Burglars, Captain Says

Residential burglaries across La Cañada Flintridge in January remained flat compared with the city’s total in the same period in 2019, Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station Capt. Todd Deeds told the City Council on Tuesday during his monthly public safety report.
Deeds expressed optimism that the static number shows the situation is improving, perhaps due partly to an increasing number of homeowner alarm systems.
“On a positive note, we had three attempted burglaries,” Deeds said. “That’s where resident crime prevention efforts are paying off with the Ring [doorbell] cameras, audible alarms and other measures residents are taking.”
Deeds said 10 residential burglaries were reported in January, including the three attempted burglaries. There were also 10 reported in January 2019, although Deeds said he did not have “attempted” data for that year. There were 97 residential burglaries in 2019, compared with 63 in 2018.
Of the three attempted burglaries in January, Deeds said, one was believed to have been thwarted by a Ring camera and the suspect ran away. A second attempt was stopped because the resident was at home and a third was halted because the residence was “pretty well secured” and the suspects eventually left after “taking too much time” to enter.
“It’s interesting to hear what scared them away so residents can take note,” Councilwoman Terry Walker said.
Deeds said he is looking forward to the implementation of the 37 Flock Safety cameras that the council approved earlier this month, and their potential in obstructing future residential burglaries.
Funding was approved for the cameras, which can read vehicles’ license plates. The source of the money will be identified during the midyear budget process next month. The program’s cost is $78,800, which includes a one-time installation expense of $4,800 and an annual license fee of $74,000, according to a city statement.
“I’m hearing good things from other cities that have implemented Flock Safety cameras,” Deeds said. “I think it will be a big deterrent for criminals. When they drive around the community and realize cameras are in place, I have a strong feeling they will go elsewhere.”
Councilman Jonathan Curtis asked if Deeds had heard any research about the effectiveness of the cameras, from people in jail, for example (the cameras are currently installed in Rosemead) — or if the technology is considered to be too new.
Deeds responded that he is confident criminals will begin to talk about the technology.
“This is their 24-hour-a-day job,” Deeds said. “They become well aware of cities that do have cameras and they don’t want to be seen. Word will spread quickly.”
On March 1, Deeds said, a full-time special assignment deputy will start serving in LCF to handle specific issues like speeding on Angeles Crest Highway or drop-off and pick-ups at local schools.
He or she “will be very visible in the community and be on patrol probably 98% of the time,” Deeds said. The deputy also will respond to help other deputies on residential burglaries or any other emergency issues that arise.
“It’s going to be a huge benefit having that deputy in the field,” Deeds said. “We’re really excited about that.”
There were no homicides, rapes, robberies or aggravated assaults reported in January, he added. There were two burglaries and four larceny thefts. There were also nine reported instances of identity theft/fraud.
A Jan. 19 motorcycle crash at Angeles Crest Highway and Gould Mesa that killed a Pacoima man remains under investigation, Deeds said.
The city experienced a 25% decrease in violent and property-related offenses, called Part I crimes, in January compared to the same period last year.
Anderson Mackey, a county assistant fire chief, said during his public safety report there were three vehicle fires and one structure fire, which took place in the 4600 block of Rockland Place last month. That fire resulted from a firebrick — typically used to light a firepit — thrown into a garage too close to combustibles, according to a public safety report. Mackey said the fire was restricted to the garage and there was no damage to the interior of the house, although residents had to be evacuated. There was a reported $80,000 property loss and $5,000 content loss to the home.
There were 103 medical service calls in January compared with 80 in 2019.
Mackey said that most of the calls were for sick residents and that the month is known for being a heavy cold and flu season.

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