Violent crime across the Santa Clarita from January to October rose by 24.9 percent over the same period in 2011, according to monthly data released Saturday by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Violent crimes include homicide, robbery, aggravated assault and forcible rape. The latter has shown the biggest increase, with 33 rapes reported as of Oct. 31 versus 19 a year earlier, a rise of 73.2 percent.
Aggravated assault is up 26.6 percent and robberies are up 17.3 percent.
By the numbers, the SCV’s homicide rate has fallen by 68.2 percent this year – two in 2012 versus six by this time in 2011. A local sheriff’s official speculated that the 2012 statistics probably reflect a man and woman found dead inside a Newhall home on Oct. 15. The deaths were apparently drug-related and the investigation is being handled by the Sheriff’s homicide bureau. No other homicides have been reported in the SCV during 2012.
Property crimes – burglary, larceny, arson and grand theft auto – are up by 6.1 percent so far in 2012.
The biggest increase has come in auto thefts, which are up by 16.9 percent with 292 incidents in 2012 versus 250 in 2011.
Burglaries have increased by 6.2 percent and larceny (theft) by 4.7 percent, while arson is even at 29 incidents.
Total “Part 1” crimes for the first 10 months of 2012 – violent crimes plus property crimes – rose by 7.9 percent across the valley.
Within the SCV, Part 1 crimes are up 10.46 percent over 2011 in the city of Santa Clarita, and 1.53 percent in the unincorporated county territory.
The SCV’s overall crime rate increase is the fourth highest among the sheriff’s 23 reporting areas, behind Walnut, Carson and Cerritos.
Despite the SCV’s year-over-year increase, which officials have attributed to an unusually low crime rate during 2011, Part 1 crimes in the SCV have diminished by 34.1 percent over the last five years (3,507 in 2012 versus 5,709 from January to October 2007).
Part 1 crimes throughout the Sheriff Department’s service area are up 3.92 percent so far in 2012 versus 2011, with larceny showing the biggest increase (6.58 percent) and homicides showing the biggest decrease (4 percent).