LCF Sees Uptick in Larceny, Theft in First 2 Months

The city of La Cañada Flintridge saw a slight uptick in crimes in February, most of which were larceny and theft cases.
Capt. Todd Deeds of the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station delivered his monthly crime presentation to the LCF City Council on Tuesday and reported a total of 27 part 1 offenses, which include robbery, aggravated assault, residential burglary and theft. Nineteen of the crimes reported involved larceny and theft, bringing the year-to-date total to 38. In 2020, there were only 15 cases in the first two months.
Five of the larceny and thefts reported were vehicle burglaries, three of which happened on Feb. 9. There were two vehicle burglary cases at the St. Francis High School parking lot and another at La Cañada High School. Deeds said they were able to obtain strong leads after school surveillance cameras captured the suspect’s vehicle, which was then tracked down by the city’s Flock cameras.
There has also been a notable increase in vandalism in LCF with six cases in the first two months, compared to one case reported in the same period of 2020, but Deeds said 500% increase is a deceptive percentage.
“The vandalism incidents are pretty random,” he said. “We had one gang-type graffiti incident over on Olive Lane and that was at the end of January. But other than that, there was no other gang-related type of vandalism that we found, so I don’t have any great concerns about gang members coming in vandalizing the city.”
Meanwhile, residential burglaries have been trending downward in La Cañada with only five reported through February. It is a 74% decline compared to the same period the previous year when 19 were reported.

GREEN ALLEY RIBBON CUTTING CEREMONY NEXT WEEK
Construction at Green Alley has officially been completed, and the city will celebrate with a socially distanced ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, March 24, at 10 a.m.
Councilwoman Terry Walker complimented Public Works Director Pat DeChellis for the work done on the alley from Alta Canyada Road to Indiana Avenue.
“It looks really good,” Walker said. “I think it was a nice improvement.”

TERMS EXTENDED
The city council agreed to extend the incumbency of current Mayor Michael Davitt and Mayor Pro Tem Jonathan Curtis by three months due to problems that arose from last year’s enactment of Senate Bill 970.
With the bill changed, state primary elections are to be held in March of
presidential election years and June during non-presidential election years.
Curtis is an incumbent city council member elected in March 2017 alongside Dave Spence, who died of a heart attack in May of the same year. Davitt currently occupies the seat left vacated by the late longtime LCF councilman.
The legislation creates a three-month gap where two seats would be left vacant because the terms of Curtis and Davitt are set to expire in March of next year.
Another complication the bill created was the city council’s rotation of mayor and mayor pro tem, which is usually conducted during the first meeting in April.
City council members agreed it’s best to extend Davitt as mayor and Curtis as mayor pro tem through July of this year, when members will conduct their selection and after which the selected mayor will serve until July 2022.
City Manager Mark Alexander will amend the city’s current resolution to address the problems and present it to the city council next month.

BROWN ACT VIOLATION REJECTED
After a closed session with legal counsel, city council members voted 4-0 to reject a demand letter to re-agendize an item discussed during a Public Commission meeting held on Feb. 25.
LCF resident David Haxton wrote a letter saying that a staff member’s presentation regarding 222 Baptiste Way was inaudible during the livestream, which he alleges is a violation of the Brown Act.
City Attorney Adrian Guerra reported that the motion was made by councilmember Richard Gunter and seconded by Walker to reject Haxton’s request. Councilmember Keith Eich recused himself from the session and decision because of a possible conflict of interest.