PROPERTY CRIMES UP IN TEMPLE CITYHoliday season, Proposition 47 may be to blame
By Shel Segal, Communications Specialist
Communications & Special Projects Office, (626) 656-7317
Dec. 5, 2016 -- While property crimes in Temple City have been on the rise, sheriff’s officials want residents to know they are doing their best to combat the current trend.
Speaking last week at the city's monthly law enforcement meeting, Sgt. Ron Miranda of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Temple Station, said there are a mixture of factors contributing to an increase in residential, commercial, and other types of theft.
Illustrating Miranda’s point is that there have already been 164 residential burglaries in 2016 through October and that number is up over the 127 burglaries committed all of 2015, according to statistics compiled by the Temple City Public Safety Division.
In addition, when comparing October 2016 to the same month of the previous year, the number of all reported burglaries and thefts has increased nearly 49 percent, from 39 to 58, according to those same statistics.
One of those factors is just the fact that it is the holiday season and that tends to bring out the worst in some, Miranda said. He added that fellow deputies are very involved in the community, and works with residents to find out who exactly is committing those crimes.
“We’re trying to identify people who don’t belong here, people who are up to no good,” he said. “The goal is we want to stop crime. We’re trying to be proactive. We are gathering information. We share with other agencies.”
Miranda also said the deputies stay engaged locally in fighting crime, adding it can often bring some fruitful results.
“Once we identify someone on our probation or parole watches who might be walking that fine line, they will be checked a little more regularly,” he said. “We’ve caught some pretty bad people because they just fall back into that lifestyle.”
Miranda added the sheriff’s department has increased saturation patrols for the next few months, which are above and beyond normal service levels. An additional 500 hours of manpower have been added to the streets, equaling about 20 more hours per week from patrols comprised of two to three deputies.
Capt. Coronne Jacob, who oversees Temple Station, said another reason for the rise in property crimes might be the passage of Proposition 47 back in November 2014. Proposition 47 took many crimes that were felonies and reclassified them as misdemeanors.
“We think there’s a corollary with Proposition 47,” Jacob said. “The sheriff’s department is currently looking into the stats. And those are property crimes, mostly related to residential burglaries, commercial burglaries, and theft, in general.”
As for now, Jacob is speculating Proposition 47 is having a negative effect on the crime rate as criminals are in and out of jail much more rapidly than before the initiative’s passage.
“Those crimes, instead of someone being arrested and spending three days in jail before seeing a magistrate and being sentenced, those people are getting a citation,” she said. “They are brought to jail. Once they get a warrant, they are cleared to go to court later. That allows them to continue their lifestyle before they go to court and if they go to court.”
And while Proposition 47 is on the mind of the department, Jacob said you can’t just rule out that’s it’s all because of the holiday season.
“We do believe it goes up during the holidays,” she said. “That’s just based on experience. A lot of people have packages delivered. They’re not home and the packages get stolen off their front porch. They shop and leave packages in their cars.”
And crimes committed in Temple City are really not that much different from those committed in neighboring cities, she added.
“Crime that’s in Temple City is the same as the crime that is throughout the San Gabriel Valley,” Jacob said. “We are basically a target-rich environment here in Temple City. People who don’t want to work for a living, they prey on those who do. Crime does not pay. It catches up with you.”
And one more worry for law enforcement in Temple City is the passage of Proposition 57 back on Nov. 8. That initiative will release many inmates from jail early.
How will that affect local crime? Jacob said she isn’t sure yet.
“The effects of that remain to be seen,” she said. “Any time we’re letting criminals who are in custody out of custody, it would certainly add to crime.”
City council member Nanette Fish said while all crime cannot be stopped, there is one technique she has personally tried to keep thieves off of her street.
“One of the things we’ve done in my neighborhood is we’ve tried to get to know each other and each other’s schedules,” she said. “It’s helped me a great deal. Enough of us in Temple City don’t know our neighbors anymore. You really have to make a point of getting to know your neighbors. So, if you see something, you can call (your neighbor).”