By GABRIELLA BOCK | Reporter
A recent reduction in local property crime rates may be signaling a downtrend in Pacific Palisades, data from the Los Angeles Police Department and the County Sheriff’s Department suggests.
An analysis of 2017’s crime reports revealed that, over the past three months, home and vehicular burglaries in the Palisades have been reduced nearly in half when compared to first and second quarter statistics.
From Sept. 8 to Dec. 8, the Palisades averaged 4.1 property crimes per week, lower than in nearby Brentwood and Venice, which averages 31.2 reported property crimes per week.
Overall crime in Los Angeles County—including violent crime—is projected to see yet another increase by end-of-year analysts: In 2016, countywide property crime went up for the third consecutive year, marking a reversal of years of steady decline after the high-crime peak of the 1990s.
A deeper look into past Palisades crime reports suggest that burglars tend to target residences with backyards that face a park or a piece of undeveloped land, such as Rivas and Potrero Canyons, and communities with narrow, shaded lots, such as in Upper Marquez.
Homes neighboring the Riviera Tennis Club were also shown to be a prime location for home theft.
The reduction in overall property crime appears to be, in large part, correlated with this year’s substantial upswing of citizen involvement, where Palisadian activist groups, like the Pacific Palisades Homelessness Task Force, and residents— from The Huntington and The Alphabets to El Medio Bluffs— took vigilance into their own hands by pioneering local initiatives and forming new neighborhood watch programs.
According to a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice, residential communities covered by citizen crime-watching programs are associated with an average 16-percent reduction in crime when compared to neighborhoods without.
Other areas in the Palisades, particularly along Temescal Canyon and Pacific Coast Highway, have seen fewer vehicular burglaries since PPTFH and LAPD Beach Patrol began cracking down on illegal overnight camping. The items most commonly reported stolen were iPods, purses and sunglasses.
In April, Palisades P.R.I.D.E president Bruce Schwartz, along with officer John “Rusty” Redican and task force members Patrick Hart and Sharon Kilbride, installed 10 “no-camping” signs along Temescal Canyon and five in Castellammare, allowing police to better enforce camping laws in areas frequented by homeless individuals.
Nearby in The Huntington, residents launched a watch program last May after neighbors reported a three-year increase in home burglaries and over 100 thefts from motor vehicles.
Since its inception, crime reports show that the neighborhood has seen a drastic reduction in vehicular break ins.
But despite the good news, LAPD Senior Lead Officer Michael Moore is warning Palisadians not to become careless in their efforts to curb neighborhood crime: The holidays are a profitable time for burglars and the officer is asking locals to be extra diligent about closing windows, setting home alarms and keeping vehicles locked and free from packages, electronics and loose change.