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Burglary rate in La Cañada slows down

Sheriff says recent spike in property crimes, though high, is fading.

July 11, 2012|By Daniel Siegal, daniel.siegal@latimes.com

Burglaries dropped dramatically in La Cañada Flintridge in June, though more burglars have struck the city so far this year than during the same period in 2010 or 2011.

Crescenta Valley Sheriff's Station. Capt. David Silversparre said seven burglaries were reported in June compared to 19 in May. A Palmdale man allegedly involved in three La Cañada burglaries in May was arrested by the Los Angeles Police Department.

“We've had some success, and so we certainly have reduced [the number of burglaries], but we still want residents to call in if they see suspicious people in their neighborhood,” Silversparre said.

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So far this year La Cañada has seen 59 burglaries, compared to 38 at this time last year and 44 at this time in 2010.

Of June's seven burglaries, five were residential and only two appeared to be the work of professionals, Silversparre said. Information in the other three cases have led deputies to believe that a nanny, an ex-husband and juveniles are responsible for those incidents, Silversparre said.

Silversparre said a suspect arrested by the LAPD in Palmdale confessed that he committed two burglaries and an attempted burglary in La Cañada in May. The man has been charged with felonies for all three La Cañada incidents, as well as cases elsewhere, according to Silversparre.

Separately, Silversparre said, sheriff's detectives are trying to find a suspect who was identified by fingerprints left at the scene of a burglary and who might have connections to other crimes.

Seventeen cases of theft were reported in June, down from 29 in May and closer to the average number seen in the city each month, Silversparre said. Overall, the 103-theft count through June is comparable to last year's 98, or to the 111 in 2010.

Two of June's thefts were cases of shoplifting from the AT&T Store on Foothill Boulevard. According to crime reports, both incidents involved the theft of multiple smart phones worth between $500 and $600. In one case, the theft wasn't noticed until closing time. In the other, the thieves were noticed, but they ran away.

Silversparre said the station sent a special assignment deputy to the store to help ascertain how it could prevent future incidents, and added that all business owners should be careful about where they display valuable products or place cash registers.

“It is requested that all business owners take a look at placement of items within their business to protect themselves from becoming victims,” he said.

June also saw Crescenta Valley Sheriff's detectives recover a 5.11-carat diamond — worth at least $600,000 — that had been stolen from a safe inside a La Cañada home. Investigators have not apprehended a suspect.

Details of the case are being withheld as the investigation is ongoing, but Silversparre said the owner of the diamond was happy to see it safe and sound.

“The owner was ecstatic it was recovered; she was overcome with emotion,” Silversparre said. “And you might say she was apprehensive about having us retain it as evidence instead of returning it to her."

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