Crime has dropped dramatically in Northridge, Porter Ranch and Granada Hills.
In the most recent four weeks, Del Core said that his Basic Car area -- which encompasses Northridge, Granada Hills and Porter Ranch -- has had no rapes, no assaults, one street robbery and five residential burglaries.
This is in stark contrast to January when Del Core said there were 25 residential burglaries in Porter Ranch alone.
Del Core said that the spike in January crime coincided with the budget-related release of parolees who were pushed from the state prisons to the county level, where jails did not have room for them.
“They were released and right around that time was when the first wave of crime hit the streets,” Del Core said.
To put that into perspective, Del Core said that the average residential burglary rate for the Basic Car area is 15-20 on average.
Currently, the area is even lower than that average, he said.
Del Core attributed the decrease in crime to community support and extra officers that were deployed.
"I think we can say this is due in part to the Neighborhood Watch, which has increased its membership, a greater vigilance on the part of residents and, on the police side, the additional deployment that was brought in to help cover the area during that spike," Del Core said.
Still, while Del Core said things are looking good for the area, he , specifically grand theft auto incidents.
“A total of 64 [cars were] taken in this time period and 10 were taken out of our Basic Car area,” Del Core said. “They’re using them for joy rides from one place to another simply for transportation and then they’re dumping them.”
Del Core added that there have also been several car break-ins in the area. However, Del Core said, overall, there has been a total of 113 break-ins division-wide. The Basic Car area, which makes up between one-third to one-quarter of that area, has only had 19 break-ins, mostly of older model cars.
Officer Ryan Caplette said that there are several steps that people can take to help ensure their car’s safety:
- Make sure nothing of any value is in plain sight.
- Put a "Club" across your steering wheel.
- Make sure all your doors are locked.
- Park your car where its lit and where there’s a lot of pedestrian traffic.
“Things like that will hopefully help your car avoid being a target,” Caplette said.
Caplette also said that the police department is currently at about 80 percent employment.
“As you know, the city is kind of tight right now and because of that we are under-deployed,” Caplette said.
However, he added that just because the department is currently under-deployed, that doesn’t mean that any officer is giving less than his best. Rather, it only explains why certain areas may be patrolled less frequently during certain parts of the day.
“This doesn’t mean I’m going to cut back at all, but that [extra] patrol time is going to be in the morning, before the criminals wake up,” Caplette said.
Del Core finished the update by adding that the police are also dealing with petty theft of bicycles and the theft of copper plumbing.
“In , we get a call about an open door and we’ll go in and see all the plumbing taken out [of the homes], so keep an eye on that,” Del Core said.
In addition, Del Core spoke about the problems the police have had shutting down .
“They try to fit as many people in it as possible all for a profit,” Del Core said. “They’re very hard to shut down, it’s a very long process, but we are working on it.”
Finally, both officers asked for the help of the public to continue reducing crime in the area.
“Share information,” Caplette said. “I can’t see everything and I don’t work every day. You guys have better eyes and instincts. If you guys see something that isn’t right, call it in.”
The Neighborhood Watch Basic Car meeting is held the third Thursday of most months at 7 p.m. at St. Euphrasia Church, 11766 Shoshone Ave., Granada Hills.