Violent crime was down over the last three months, but the number of first quarter incidents was very high. That means overall our crime rate in this area increased 17 percent compared to 2019. Most of the increases were aggravated assaults that are crimes that use a weapon and/or involve significant injury to the victim. As is often the case, most of these were not random incidents and involved participants who knew each other.
Vehicle thefts and vehicle prowls also saw major increases. We have had them in large parking areas (parks, shopping areas, apartment complexes) as well as quiet neighborhoods. But there are things you can do to help yourself—and your neighbors—from becoming victims of car prowlers and property theft:
- First, remove all valuables from the vehicle. Some crooks break in even when nothing is in view.
- Consider installing a vehicle alarm and using anti-theft devices on steering wheels.
- At home, make sure you have good lighting around your vehicles. Surveillance cameras can capture suspects in the act, but many systems also provide motion alerts when there is activity around your car.
- Practice awareness. Alert citizens have spotted criminal activity and quickly contacted us. Not only has this resulted in arrests, but it also sends a message to potential criminals that people are watching.
Beginning this week, you may see more bike patrols around our busy parking areas as well as additional speed enforcement patrols. And we will also be announcing plans for virtual public safety forums and information classes in the coming weeks. These events are a great way for residents to learn more about how they can work with us to keep our community safe. We hope you will consider participating in them.