As reports of burglaries and property theft crimes in the city of Sierra Madre and neighboring cities increase, city officials and the Sierra Madre Police Department are asking residents to remain vigilant and alert when it comes to reporting crimes in progress.
The spike burglaries and other property crimes throughout Southland communities, Sierra Madre officials say could be the result of the California's corrections realignment plan (AB 109), one of the most significant changes to California's criminal justice system in decades.
According to data from the Crimereports.com website, Sierra Madre detectives investigated nearly twice as many property crimes in the last three months compared to the three befrore.
Burglaries, Theft-Related Crimes in Sierra Madre Spikes over 2012
According to Crimereports.com, from July 17, 2012 to Oct. 17, 2012, Sierra Madre police investigated 18 burglaries or property theft crimes. However, over the next three month period, from Oct. 18, 2012 to Jan. 17, 2013, there were 33 burglaries or theft-related crimes handled by the city's police department.
In response to the increase in crime, city officials and the police department encourage residents to remain vigilant and to immediately call 9-1-1 to report any crimes in progress.
More on AB 109
Under AB 109, signed by Governor Jerry Brown in April 2011, realignment refers to the shifting of criminal justice responsibilities from the state prisons and parole board to local county officials and superior courts. Therefore, counties are now responsible for the supervision of prisoners placed on parole whose last offense was not a violent crime or a sex offense.
In addition, newly convicted offenders who are deemed to be non-violent, non-serious, and non-sex offenders are placed on probation or in local jails in lieu of sentences to state prison. As a result, most communities are experiencing an increase in the number of probationers and felons out on early release, which local law enforcement agencies believe is the culprit for the spate of burglaries and theft-related incidents.
Being An Alert Citizen When it Comes to Your City
Residents should call 9-1-1 to report any police, fire, or medical emergency, including:
- Crimes in progress or crimes that have just occurred
- Suspicious activity or behavior
- Fights or domestic violence
- Suicide attempts
- Building fires, brush fires, trash fires, or any other fires
- Traffic accidents
- Any medical emergency for which immediate care is needed
- Vicious animals – but not a bear walking through the neighborhood or yard
Residents are asked not to call 9-1-1 to report any non-emergency problems or to ask questions; instead, please call the Police Department's non-emergency line at (626) 355-1414.
What You Need to Know When Calling 9-1-1
When you call 9-1-1, a Sierra Madre Dispatcher will answer your call and request information about your emergency, including:
- Your exact location, or as much information about your location as possible
- The nature of the emergency (someone has a gun, the house is on fire, a neighbor collapsed, etc.)
- How many people are injured, if any?
- Names and descriptions of the people involved in the emergency or situation
- Any conditions which could make the situation unsafe for responding personnel or bystanders (weapons, gas leaks, disabled vehicles, animals, etc.)
- Stay on the line until the dispatcher hangs up. You may be able to provide the dispatcher with additional information as emergency personnel respond, or the dispatcher may be able to provide you with emergency instructions.