Current data provided by the South Pasadena Police Department shows a 9.5 increase in part one crime from 2018 to 2029, with larceny and assaults the main culprit.
In 2018 there were 65 reported assaults compared to 85 in 2019. Larceny went from 360 in 2018 to 434 in 2019.
Following under part one crimes are murder, manslaughter, robbery sex offenses, aggravated assault, burglary, arson and motor vehicle theft. Additionally, non-part one crimes reportable with a hate crime bias include simple assault, larceny-theft, intimidation and vandalism/destruction of property.
“Shoplifting, package thefts, auto burglaries and thefts from unlocked vehicles were the major contributors,” explained South Pasadena Police Chief Joe Ortiz. “Residents can help by not leaving things in their vehicles, lock car doors, and pick up packages promptly. As far as shoplifting, that may be more difficult to deter. The police department continues to work with the business owners to form a partnership and work together on this reoccurring problem. We encourage them that if they ‘See something, to Say something” and reach out to SPPD.”
In other statistics provided by the LAPD, there were two reported rapes in both 2018 and 2019, 19 robberies in 2018 and 11 in 2019, 103 burglaries in 2018 and 94 in 2019, 59 vehicle thefts in 2018 and 40 in 2019.
Overall, 608 part one crimes were reported in 2018 compared to 666 in 2019.
“The majority of assaults are domestic related, where the victim knows the suspect by either a family member, spouse, friends, boy/girlfriend, students, co-workers, acquaintance, etc. Although it may be difficult for us to reduce domestic violence calls, we can continue to provide victim’s (and potential victim’s) resources to help this continued pattern of violence to stop.”
Ortiz says the SPPD continues to build and nurture relationships with residents, “who really are part of our crime fighting efforts,” he said, noting the department has “a robust and engaging Neighborhood Watch Program” with more than 75 block captains involved in the program.
“Residents need to help out to reduce crime by keeping doors locked, nothing in plain view and calling on suspicious activity,” said the police chief. “While no tool will completely predict or prevent crime, the police department remains vigilant in its fight to keep South Pasadena and its resident’s safe using all available resources. Sometimes the right combination of networking, organizing, and communicating can have a huge impact on our surroundings.”
Ortiz listens to community members who voice concerns to him and his officers on the street.
“Community members have shared their concerns with the police department that they are seeing an increase in traffic through town, coupled with more and more traffic violations being committed,” he said.
Ortiz stressed that the South Pasadena City Council is also aware that there are traffic issues and is working with city staff on a variety of strategies.
“The $100 million in grants allocated to the City will allow us to be extremely aggressive in managing traffic across all north/south corridors,” he said. “This funding has recently become available and we anticipate moving forward quickly.”
City staff, according to Ortiz, is working on other creative solutions, “including a Neighborhood Traffic Management Plan to address traffic calming issues.”
The plan, which will go to the City Council later this year, “will provide an accessible approach for handling traffic requests and engaging with the community while working toward permanent solutions,” added the police chief.
In addition, Ortiz said his department is expanding its “traffic enforcement through a department reorganization within the next few months,” he added. “In turn, this will triple our traffic officers (from one to three officers). In addition, we are implementing an anti-gridlock campaign and have implemented pedestrian enforcement late last year to further alleviate traffic.”
Ortiz said he will continue to implement creative solutions to calm traffic in South Pasadena, “including community engagement with residents, neighborhood traffic management plan, and reorganization of PD staffing and specialized enforcement,” he noted. “We will also continue to evaluate all community requests for traffic calming and traffic control.”