HomeCity NewsPart 1 Crimes Are Down, SMPD Reports to Council

Part 1 Crimes Are Down, SMPD Reports to Council

San Marino Police Chief John Incontro explains to the City Council that crime has dropped significantly in the city. Photo by Steve Whitmore

Statistics are down in San Marino for serious crimes, according to a report presented to the City Council last week.

Police Chief John Incontro told the council that crime was trending downward for the second quarter compared with data from last year in the same time period this year.

“You’ve been provided with information concerning the positive efforts to reduce crime, (part of which is) increase communication with the community,” Incontro told the council Wednesday.

Overall Part 1 crimes are down 28.6 percent this year when compared with the same time frame last year, Incontro said.

“That’s 39 less victims (of crimes) this year over last,” Incontro said.

Residential burglary, a hot-button issue for San Marino, has shown improvement as well, Incontro said.

“We’ve had 39.5 percent less residential burglaries this year,” he said. That’s 19 less persons who would have become victims of crimes.

And overall statistics for burglaries this year—that includes attempted, residential and commercial—there has been a drop of 43.9 percent this year over the same time period last year.

“That’s 29 less victims of crime,’ Incontro said.

Part 1 crimes included homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary (residential and commercial), attempted burglaries, auto theft and arson.

Although pleased with the results of the downward trend, Incontro acknowledged that there is always “more work to be done.”

“We are very pleased, but we still have much work to do and we are doing it,” Incontro said during an earlier telephone interview where he discussed the overall approach to suppression and prevention of crime in San Marino.

Arson did go up by three, but one being the suicide by self-immolation by a man later identified as Shin Chang Lee, in a small truck outside a San Marino home in broad daylight. The other two arsons also were solved.

The other good news is the downward trend also includes burglaries as well. Not only are they down for the second quarter but for the first quarter as well. Last year, there were 48 residential burglaries, including four over one weekend. Since one is too many, Incontro decided to create a special detail.

They created a burglary suppression detail to combat all burglaries. The detail was going to have four officers dressed in plain clothes driving unmarked police cars, keeping certain areas under surveillance. They did just that, and it worked, according to police.

This year to date, there have been 26 residential burglaries compared with 48 last year, a drop of nearly 50 percent—48.83 percent to be exact—according to the data provided by the police department.

“One is too many, but it’s working,” Incontro said during the earlier interview. “I want to thank the community for calling us. Our calls have increased dramatically and that is helpful.”

There were no homicides this year or last, one rape this year but none last year, no robberies this year but two last year, seven aggravated assaults this year and 10 last year.

Meanwhile, commercial burglaries came in at four this year, while they had seven last year. Attempted burglaries came in at 8 this year compared with 14 last year. Larceny was also down, 43 this year and 56 last year. No cars got stolen this year, while only two got boosted last year. And then there’s arson, which had three this year but none last year. Police also are reporting two cases of unlawful consensual sex, according to Incontro. One of the cases is with the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office for final disposition.

Incontro said the causes for the decrease are varied. The community, he said, has become much more involved.

“Our calls for service are way up and I want to thank the community for getting involved,” Incontro said. “We cannot do our job without the community’s involvement. Also, our burglary suppression detail is working really well. Since we started it, we’ve seen a decrease.”

Incontro also attributed the decline to the community working with the police department.

“As I said, we cannot do our job without the community’s involvement and San Marino is the best,” Incontro said. “They are committed to making our city the best and the safest it can be. I want to thank them for that.”

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