Violent and property crimes rose in Glendale during 2019Thursday, February 13, 2020
Crime in Glendale went on a slight rise last year with the city reporting a jump in both violent and property crimes committed.
The overall crime rate, combining both violent and property offenses, rose by about 6.8% in 2019, according to year-end statistics released by the Glendale Police Department.
Sgt. Dan Suttles, a spokesman for the department, said the rise in crime can possibly be linked to a set of laws that were enacted in the past several years — Propositions 47 and 57 and Assembly Bill 109.
These laws were designed as a realignment to California’s criminal justice system where certain drug and property-related felonies were reclassified as misdemeanors, people convicted of nonviolent felonies became eligible for early parole and monitoring offenders became the responsibility of counties rather than the state.
“There’s going to be people who agree and disagree with that assertion but … we are going to keep an eye on these numbers and on any correlation with these laws,” he said.
Last year, the number of reported violent crimes — which include murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault — rose from 202 to 231, signifying a 14.4% jump.
Murders saw a jump from one case in 2018 to five last year — a rise of 400%.
Glendale’s first homicide of 2019 occurred in February when twin brothers Carl Ora and David Cirilo Cervantes were involved in a murder-suicide.
A triple homicide followed in April when Deandre Tyronne Sims, Christian Marty Moukam and Leon Gough II were gunned down in what police consider a home-invasion robbery gone wrong.
In August, 28-year-old Abramo Anthony Abbiati was shot outside of an apartment complex after visiting family in the area.
Despite the rise in the murder rate, it shouldn’t be seen as a reflection on Glendale’s safety as a city, according to Suttles.
“Each one of those we believe are targeted [homicides],” he said. “It’s not a random act of violence on the street.”
Robberies in Glendale saw a 20.8% increase last year, going from 77 incidents in 2018 to 93.
Suttles said the jump can be attributed, in part, to something called an “Estes robbery,” where a shoplifting incident turns physical.
About half of robberies in the city are street robberies, where someone is threatened into handing over their property, he added.
Aggravated assaults jumped from 100 cases to 116 — a 16% hike.
The only violent crime that saw a decrease in cases were rapes, which dropped from 24 incidents in 2018 to 17 last year — a fall of about 29.2%.
Property crimes — including burglary, auto theft, auto burglary, grand theft, petty theft and arson — went from 3,121 reported cases in 2018 to 3,317 last year, about a 6.3% increase.
Auto burglaries saw the biggest rise, around 16.24%, going from 431 cases to 501. Suttles called the vehicle burglaries crimes of opportunity, where thieves come across unlocked vehicles to burgle.
“It’s pretty constant throughout the city,” he said. “At nighttime, we’ll see it more in the residential areas, daytime you’ll see it more in commercial areas like [the Glendale Galleria] and gyms.”
Grand thefts saw the second largest increase of property crimes, going from 466 cases to 534 — about a 14.6% rise.
Arson cases rose by about 9% last year, from 11 to 12, while burglaries saw a 5.7% jump from 454 incidents to 480.
Although petty thefts make up a bulk of Glendale’s property crimes, it saw the smallest increase last year when it went from 1,493 cases to 1,527— a 2.3% jump. A third of the petty thefts that occur in Glendale are shoplifting cases, according to Suttles.
The only property crime that saw a reduction last year was auto thefts, which dropped around 1.1% when it went from 266 reported cases in 2018 to 263.
Suttles said the drop can be traced back to the rise in newer vehicles with stronger security features hitting the road as older model cars that are easier to steal become obsolete.
“You can’t just stick a screwdriver into the ignition of a 1982 Honda Prelude and have it come on,” he said. “It just doesn’t work that way anymore.”