Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies released a local analysis of crime statistics announced by the Sheriff’s Department  earlier this month.
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After reviewing the numbers, officials found that approximately 35 percent of all crime in the Santa Clarita Valley’s unincorporated areas, which is to say land in the Santa Clarita Valley outside city limits, occurs at businesses near The Old Road, between Magic Mountain Parkway and Lyons Avenue, and the areas including Six Flags Magic Mountain.
Deputies are looking to address these incidents with an increased presence in those areas; however, as the Sheriff’s Station report notes: “These types of commercial business crimes, whether it be shoplifting, vehicle break-ins or petty thefts, are often times crimes of opportunity.”
Crimes often occur when someone will leave valuables showing in their vehicle, said Deputy Josh Dubin of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station. In the case of Magic Mountain, it's often items left behind on rides, or left unlocked in a vehicle. Signs are posted throughout the park to deter this type of behavior.
Dubin was a featured guest Thursday on “Neighborhood Watch ,” a KHTS AM-1220 show that airs every first and third Thursday of the month, when he discussed ways residents could avoid becoming a victim of such crimes.
Sheriff’s Station officials also added a caution against drawing too many conclusions when analyzing the most recent crime numbers in a year-to-year comparison, because “it’s somewhat skewed by a population shift in September 2012, when the city of Santa Clarita annexed 25,678 residents from the unincorporated area into the city limits.”
As a result of the shift, the current bases for historical crime rate comparison has changed, which will temporarily affect some comparisons and percentages, officials said.
Based on those year-to-year stats, the Sheriff’s Station recorded a 2.5 percent drop in the crime rate within city limits, while there was a 36 percent spike in the unincorporated areas in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Santa Clarita deputies credited community help with keeping the crime rate among the lowest in Los Angeles County for their patrol area.
Crime prevention and safety tips
But there’s still more that can be done to prevent crime, Dubin said.
“The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station is happy to report that crime within city limits is down, and deputies are working hard to lower the crime rate in the unincorporated areas we serve, as well,” he said.
The Sheriff’s Station’s Crime Prevention Unit also announced plans to increase the presence of crime analysis in the unincorporated areas by bringing back zone leaders to the unincorporated areas.
“Zone leaders add a face for residents to contact, as well an increased ability to respond to any crime trends that they may notice," Dubin said, in a previous interview.
Dubin offered the following theft-prevention and safety tips on the show:
- Don't leave valuables in your vehicle.
- Always stay alert to your surroundings. Do not walk through a parking lot with your head down or on a cellphone.
- Avoid carrying a large amount of cash. Keep cash in your front pocket.
- If possible pay for purchases with a credit card.
- Immediately notify the credit card company if your credit card was lost or stolen.
- Have your keys ready when you leave the store.
“You'd be surprised how often this happens, but individuals leave valuable items in plain sight all the time,” Dubin stated in a Nixle report. “If you leave items in your vehicle and they're visible, the chances your vehicle will get broken into, increase greatly.”
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Santa Clarita Report Comes With Caution On Crimes Of Opportunity
Article: Santa Clarita Report Comes With Caution On Crimes Of Opportunity 
Source: Santa Clarita News
Author: Perry Smith