Sheriff's Redeployment of Resources Helps Slow Burglary Rate in Walnut, Officials Say

Walnut Sheriff's Capt. Jim Scroggin gave a presentation on recent crime at the City Council meeting Wednesday night.

The redeployment of resources has helped slow the growing tide of residential and commercial burglaries and led to some recent arrests, according to Walnut Sheriff's Station Capt. Jim Scroggin.

Scroggin gave a report Wednesday night on crime to the Walnut City Council. He said that since Nov. 11, deputies have made several arrests and that there have been 13 burglaries in the last four weeks, down from the 25 or so the city had been averaging in recent months.

The report follows a Nov. 13 council meeting in which some residents concerned about burglaries at their homes and in their neighborhoods urged the city to do more.

At that meeting, Ray Ayers, a 15-year-resident of Walnut, said his Walnut Canyon Road home was burglarized the first week in November, one of 10 residential burglaries reported in the city during that period, according to crimemapping.com.

"They completely trashed the house," he said. "Every single drawer, everything was demolished. They took every single piece of jewelry I bought my wife. Made her cry."

Burglaries have seen a sharp uptick in Walnut this year. So far, 184 burglaries have been reported, compared to 107 by this same time last year, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department statistics released in October. That represents a year-to-date increase of 72 percent.  Walnut had a total of 143 burglaries in 2012, according to the data.

"The increase in property crime in Walnut is not unique," Scroggin said.

Other similar bedroom communities have also seen increases in burglaries, including San Dimas up 29 percent, Agoura Hills up 73 percent, and Calabasas up 34 percent, he said.

While property crimes are up, the city only had 32 violent crimes this year, which is "one of the best gauges for how safe a community is," he said.

Scroggin pointed to two reasons for the the increase in property crimes this year, the risk versus reward criminals weigh when they burglarize a property and Assembly Bill 109.

The legislation is a realignment plan designed to ease overcrowding in state prisons. Under the realignment plan, newly-convicted, low-level offenders who don't have prior or current convictions for violent offenses serve their sentences in county jails rather than in state prisons, according to the California Department of Corrections.  The responsibility for supervising parolees also has been shifted from the state to the counties, as a result of realignment.

Council members urged Walnut residents to get involved in Neighborhood Watch and the sheriff's department's volunteer patrol program, as well as report any suspicious activity they see in their neighborhoods.

Councilwoman Mary Su said the city now has 60 Neighborhood Watch teams.  The volunteers who patrol also are important, she added.

"This is a volunteer organization.  This depends on you," she said.  "It is very effective and this will help the city of Walnut tremendously."

For more information on how to start a Neighborhood Watch program, call Deputy Doug Daley at City Hall at 909-595-7543. For more information on Volunteers on Patrol, call the Walnut Sheriff's Station at 909-595-2264.

Vito Spago December 12, 2013 at 07:36 PM
This is totally stupid. The Sheriff thinks that because we are not being killed in Walnut that it is a safe city. Burglaries are just fine. Neighborhood Watch is fine but we need armed patrols a la George Zimmerman. Many of these Burglars have burglarized as many as 20 houses. That is totally ridiculous. The Police are next to useless. Mary Su, get a clue, Neighborhood watch IS NOT THE ANSWER.


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